Posts filed under ‘city of lorain’

Lorain Development Corp- the revolving- evolving story!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lorain works to save center, and its tenants

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

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

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

Lorain works to save center, and its tenants

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

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

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

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

Casino expensesre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 12, 2016 at 3:06 pm 11 comments

Plump Lady Plummets – and the housing trip continues

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

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

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

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

Wurmser house 031716-001

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Harbour and its founder, Charles A. Vose III

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Harkins and Shawn Foucher
The Chronicle-Telegram

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why should our property values decline because of trash housing?

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

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

To be continued …………….

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

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

the neighborhood  after tornado

the neighborhood after tornado

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

Post Card Admiral King's home

Post Card Admiral King’s home


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

red truick

11226061_10205137488018048_8352066394168332905_n

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

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

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

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

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

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

treres

tree collage

March 30, 2016 at 6:17 pm 1 comment

General Gillmore- a Portrait of a Man- a home at last

General Gillmore portrait

General Gillmore portrait

Readers will remember the tale of my dilemma of the portrait of General Gillmore.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/general-quincy-a-gillmore-the-dining-room-dilemna/

The portrait, in my opinion, was obviously important and significant in the fact it seems to be a family piece of the General in his later years. Bearing in mind he passed away at the age of 63 in 1888 – I would say this photographic portrait was probably of the General in his 50’s. This portrait, in all likelihood is one of a kind or one of very few.

The wavy glass in the portrait is pre 1900 , this portrait could well be 130-140 years old. There is foxing and some condition issues with the photo itself . It had for many decades been in the sun and probably in an area of damp in Peggy Gillmore’s residence, which is over a century old home.

original photo  Gillmore House  403 Oberlin Ave.

original photo Gillmore House 403 Oberlin Ave.


Of course the first thought of the family was to donate such a proud piece of Lorain’s history to the now Lorain Historical Society- ( used to be the historical society known as Black River Historical Society) in Lorain where of course the Gillmores were one of this city’s founding families.
lorainhist http://www.lorainhistory.org/

However, Lorain Historical Society was less than enthusiastic and turned down the donation (sight unseen) . The family gave me the portrait and to the Charleston Village Society . Therefore, I approached and was approached by other historical societies and interested individuals as soon as the series of the General and his portrait hit the internet . A few out-of-state societies were very interested due to General Gillmore’s Civil War and engineering career which was of importance to so many
.

Elyria Historical Home  http://www.lchs.org/

Elyria Historical Home
http://www.lchs.org/

http://www.lchs.org/

I reached out to the Lorain COUNTY Historical Society in Elyria, the Elyria connection being General Gillmore was also of great importance to the County of Lorain, he went to school in Elyria and indeed it was his nephew Attorney Quincy Alanson Gilmore ( of Elyria) who owned the portrait in the first place- maybe through his father Edmund –

Attorney Quincy  Alanson Gillmore of Elyria

Attorney Quincy Alanson Gillmore of Elyria

“He was the son of Civil War General Quincy Adams Gillmore’s brother Edmund (named after his grandfather one of the founders of this settlement ( owning approximately 1,000 acres). This Edmund married Miss Adelaide E Gillmore daughter of Alanson(also a son of the original Edmund of Lakeview) and Evelyn ( Jones) Gillmore.
Edmund and Adelaide’s only child was Quincy “ALANSON” Gillmore , who ended up a prominent attorney in Elyria (Page 728- The History of Lorain County)-

Since Lorain itself was less than enthusiastic as to keeping the portrait and the documentation of events / clippings, the Executive Board of Charleston Village Society
http://www.loraincounty.com/charlestonlorai/
and interested parties/members were asked to vote on the new home of the General’s portrait- 100% of those voting decided on the Lorain County Historical Society . It was felt they did not want to lose the portrait to an out-of-state historical society or to individuals but to keep the portrait locally .

On January 27th 2016 Charleston Village Society, to whom the portrait was donated by surviving family members, donated the Portrait of General Quincy A Gillmore to Lorain County Historical Society

Gillmoredonres

Also donated is an 1890 print of the Storming of Fort Wagner (note the mention of General Gillmore in the small type underneath the print). This print was also found in the items donated to CVSI. This event was part of the movie “Glory”

fort wagner print
1. We have also donated to your organization various photos from Peggy’s papers such as the “Genealogy of the Gillmore family” – the New Hampshire Line ending in 1954.
2. Various loose photos of the family the Gillmore farm in Massachusetts, the Gillmore home on Oberlin Ave and Washington Avenue and various correspondence
3. Folders of various family cuttings (some are repeats)
4. Commemorative Newspapers regarding the Civil War etc. (delicate condition)
5. Two maps depicting Lorain’s early days (in very poor and delicate condition)
6. A copy of the Lorain Centennial Program 1834-1934.
7. Two CD’s- one containing the posts written by Loraine Ritchey about the Gillmore family, the General and various posts on Peggy Gillmore. Also a CD with information on Geo. Wickens from a newspaper cutting found in the box from 1894. (The paper literally is in pieces) but scans are included in the posts in the CD. NOTE: Quincy Alanson Gillmore was Mayor Wickens attorney in the lawsuit.

NOTE: You can find the whole series of posts on the Gillmores linked in this post https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/generally-gillmore-the-last-post-lorain-part-12/ the family went on to be a very important part of not only Lorain’s history but that of a fledgling nation.

There were individuals who wanted us to remove the photo from the frame so that it could be scanned, however I felt, as did the Executive Board of Charleston Village Society , we could not take the responsibility or risk due to the unknown condition of the photo beneath the glass. That decision will be up to the Lorain County Historical Society

The portrait, has at last found a home as well as many interesting bits and pieces from Peggy Gillmore’s “scrapbook” of Lorain’s early history. The basket and storage bin that arrived to this old house contained a love of Lorain by one of her founding families .
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/history-mystery-lives-of-lorain-gillmore/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/ch-ch-ch-changes-herstory-lorain-history-part-2/

Some items are still being researched by two or three of our members, then they too will find an appropriate home!
basket
Items that have already been donated include :

The damaged Pulpit Bible (Lorain Tornado) was returned to Christian Temple Disciples of Christ. A photo of the 1914 Lorain High Graduating Class was given to the Lorain City Schools. A panoramic view of the building of Terminal Tower was given to Dennis Lamont of Lorain’s Historic Railways (Street Cars). The architectural plans of Mayor Braun’s home 5th and Oberlin were given to Gary Fischer a local architect who is one of Lorain’s “history” people. A pencil drawn map of the early Village of Charleston / Black River was framed and donated to the City of Lorain- Mayor’s Office.

Gilmore mapframed

The General has found his home – no longer the visitor to my home, having said that, I will always thank him for providing me the energy and desire to document his story and that of his family. I hope Peggy would have been pleased.

Photo Laura Watilo Blake

Photo Laura Watilo Blake

March 20, 2016 at 6:43 pm 2 comments

Windows on Lorain- The Neanderthals- a “tornado” history

before

Readers will remember that last August a cretin of caveman- like behavior decided to take out their anger against me and this blog by sneaking through the shrubbery in the dead of night and hurling a chunk of concrete through the leaded glass front living room windows and ripping down a “don spout”
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/ode-to-a-downspout-named-don-lorain/
window
another view
2015-08-23 08.16.03

Such lack of intelligence knows no bounds.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/hurled-through-the-window-retribution-who-done-it-lorain/
Not only did they take out the front window but by venting their anger on the downspout left their calling card – in my opinion-

downspout two

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/outdoor-showrooms-lorain-by-don-the-downspout/
if I ever saw one , as to the sender of the concrete message !

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/the-case-of-the-curious-lorain-neanderthal/ However, no finger prints on the concrete so I am left to my own suppositions and opinions BUT
neanderthakl
This was not the end of the tale. After sweeping up the shattered leaded glass ( thankfully the lead in the windows had held the concrete’s forward force ) the glass shattered 20 feet into the dining room the repair had to be done . It could’ve been more dangerous with the flying glass, someone asleep in the chair – doesn’t bear thinking about – although in all honesty “thinking” wasn’t part of this particular crime .

Fast forward after the police had left ( along with my suppositions) and the installations of many cameras recording the comings and goings around the house, alley and property , it was time for the insurance.

The insurance company had no problem with gutter/downspout repair but did not have anyone listed who could fix 90-year-old windows. Eventually they came up with a list- none of whom were close to Lorain.

I contacted a craftsman in Hinckley Ohio –



Jim Ascherl,Ascherl Studios,1616 Center Rd. Hinckley Oh 44233 330-278-4964 shop 440-223-4111 cell


and the tale of 6 degrees of separation unfolded:
A tale of a tornado hitting Lorain in 1924- the rebuilding of a community and new housing . Yes back in 1926- this old house was brand new – as were her windows.

fronthouse

This was our “lot” the day after the tornado ,

mylotres

The lot was originally 66 ft wide with one house which was destroyed. History has it, a mother and daughter rebuilt two houses on the lot – sub dividing the lot to 33 ft each. The two homes have “all leaded glass windows ”
1131res

The time of rebuilding sent a young man to Lorain to repair the leaded and stained glass windows of the churches damaged by the tornado.
http://ascherlstudios.com/History.aspx

Michael Ascherl 1928

Michael Ascherl 1928

At age 13, Michael Ascherl began working as an apprentice glazier in southern Germany. At age 16, Michael obtained Journeyman status before confiding to his boss that he wanted to learn stained glass. His boss dismissed it stating, “You’re too old to learn a new trade.” A few months later, Michael quit and promptly obtained employment with a small stained glass studio, The J. Gross Company. Michael’s duties included walking from town to town in southern Germany repairing windows. The glass rack and tool box, called a “Kraxze,” that he carried on his back over 100 years ago is proudly displayed in our showroom.

Michael immigrated to New York in the early 1900s where he met his wife before moving to Cleveland Ohio. Michael Ascherl landed employment with a commercial glass company until 1924 when a devastating tornado wiped out the downtown area of nearby Lorain Ohio. Due to extensive damage to downtown churches, Michael’s employer immediately sent him to their Lorain Ohio branch where a stained glass division was hastily set up.

first congregational chuch

For four years Michael spent his days rebuilding all of the damaged windows in the downtown churches.

In 1928, the daunting task of repairing all of the local churches was nearing its end. Michael Ascherl decided that he needed to focus on starting his own studio. Briefly named Sunset Studio, Michael later changed the name to Ascherl Studios.

This young man was Jim’s grandfather( the very artisan I had called – not knowing the connection) for my repair ; the craftsman who also used his talents to make the windows in this old house.

I was fascinated to think 90 years ago Jim’s grandfather standing in the rooms of what is now my home crafting with care these special windows. It was these windows that reminded me of England and home when I first came here, the brick and leaded “dickens windows “, as my mother calls them, drew me to this house.

Jim duly arrived and the consensus was the windows were in all certainty the work of his grandfather!

photo Dan Brady

photo Dan Brady

Also Jim has been working on the stained glass windows damaged etc when the fire totaled First Lutheran Church on 6th Street, so he was familiar with this area . This fire has been ruled arson , another Neanderthal destroying something beautiful and reverent

http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/2015/02/first-lutheran-church-directory-1966.html

A Tornado= a craftsman= leaded glass/stained glass windows= a grandson= a neighborhood church=and this old house and sometimes even destruction can bring about a good thing………

Tornado photos courtesy of Ohio Historical Society

http://ohsweb.ohiohistory.org/swio/pages/albums/1924_LorainTornado/1924_albumPage10.html

March 10, 2016 at 4:16 pm 3 comments

The Wayback machine- is a lesson not learned


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes from the Community Roundtable June 28th 2005

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

Background

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chronicle Telegram

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paroleres

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

February 26, 2016 at 4:38 pm 8 comments

Charleston Village Annual Report/ Finances -2015

cv BOT 1834
Charleston Village Annual Report for 2015
The in-kind donations continue to help us thrive and survive with all the projects we have taken on in this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood. For every dollar in cash we receive three times the donations with in-kind support of materials labor and equipment. We could not attempt these projects or their upkeep without the partnerships and in kind donations.

Such as the continuing sponsorship of our website https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/category/charleston-village/ a thanks to Emerge http://www.loraincounty.com/charlestonlorai/

As in previous years 100% of all money collected goes toward the project for which it is designated.
We filed our IRS form for our non- profit for 2016 and were, I am pleased to say, accepted
E-File Postmark: Filed January 19th 2016- accepted January 19th-2016

The Charleston Pioneer Cemetery
continues to be in the capable of hands of Diane Wargo Medina and she has given the cemetery a new page on Face Book https://www.facebook.com/Charleston-Cemetery-of-Lorain-Ohio-1593581127589624/

cemeteres
After many years of patiently waiting a new sidewalk replaces the old
and you will notice the old wooden light poles that have stood forlornly waiting for removal have finally gone! Thank you Councilman Faga! Diane has continued to support and look for support for the cemetery and has recently plotted the burials
CC2res
Without Diane’s volunteers and passion this oldest cemetery would be non-existent. She has been the driving force once more re planting, clean-up, preserving the history and the headstones. You can find the listing of the names here https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/a-cemetery-tale-charleston-village-lorain/
Diane gratefully received a donation from Black River Genealogists to carry on her efforts in preserving history.

Settlers’ Watch:

Photo by  Mark Teleha

Photo by Mark Teleha


Our constant gardener Joe, has planted some wonderful new plants and shrubs. The old bed, that was running amuck with over growth behind the bench, at Eric Barnes Eagle has been revamped. The shrubs and plants were moved elsewhere on the site and replaced with a wonderfully fragrant rose garden thanks to a donation for the roses.

This summer should find honeysuckle and roses blooming together. The plans are for the overgrown plants around Eric Barnes Eagle to be thinned and more roses and a color scheme of “red white and blue” honoring the patriotism and sacrifice of the sons of Lorain reflected in the planting.

All of the carvings have now been moved from the tree lawn, where they were exposed to salt etc. and are waiting for warmer weather to be refurbished and placed on the concrete plinths( Thanks to Falbo Concrete) in and amongst Settlers’ Watch and Eric Barnes Heroes Walk.
The Captain continues to be stabilized thanks to Frank Sipkovsky and Ernest Ritchey.

Once again members of Lorain Rotary – thanks to Phil Dore– were there in force on Lorain Pride Day to weed, whack and mulch. Without the volunteers we would be in a sorry state.
areiel
Just behind the fence and grapevines , the fruit of which was literally gobbled up by the thirsty birds this year, you will see two new additions . Thanks to the Lorain Port Authority and Lorain Growth Corp the “Lighthouse Shed” was donated to the area – art work by Chris Ritchey 2002. The shed had a refurbish and will be used to not only provide a welcome but a place to store the things needed for the gardens.
shed collage

Ed Cumminsed, local artist, donated and designed our very own hat tip to recycling (remembering that Settler’s Watch is 100% repurposed and recycled materials) and to Lorain’s maritime history. You will see the characters of the pioneers sailing into the harbor and the “trials” that would await them in the forms to the various sea monsters.

anchor blue mulch
The Admiral King Tribute Site
Many, many thanks once again to the Lorain Utilities Dept. – under the direction of Ariel Vasquez and his crew.
We replaced the flags, they only last a few weeks due to the wind and weather coming off the lake. Thanks to the Veterans Council of Lorain we received enough flags to line the walk leading to the flag pole. Unfortunately, we cannot plant along the walk way as the water supply is limited. We are hoping in 2016 we will no longer need a bucket brigade. Therefore, we are having to pace our volunteer, as our constant gardener, Joe Artim, has been busy with the hundreds of new plantings along Eric Barnes Heroes Walk. Admiral King Day is being suggested by the State of Ohio and is going through the process of recognition.

Heroes
Eric Barnes’ Heroes Walk

Phase two of the Marine Monument garden has literally grown to be a beautiful and peaceful place, thanks to the design and co-ordinated plantings. The plants represent the red and gold of the US Marine’s flag and the red, white and blue of the United Sates flag. This year there have been nearly 200 new plantings of shrubs and perennials along the walkway. We were also pleased to get donations – in kind of trees and plants and shrubs and once again Don Mould’s have been very generous to the site. Chuck Becker for his donation of trees, Lupines and daisies. Donation of a new US Marine Flag by Mr. K. Kramer replacing the torn one earlier this year

You literally CAN walk with the butterflies along the path as there are now 26 butterfly bushes lining the walk. The gardens are maturing and the fragrances carried on the breeze are delightful, thanks to the planting design of Joe and Ariel.
lnwc-logo
The Crime Watch Program continues to quietly watch out for neighbors.

Lorain 365

Lorain 365


Outreach and Promotions Committee

Once more the committee decorated for the Trains and Trees at Black river Landing this year the Lilac tree was replaced with Lorain’s Industry tree. The tree designed by Renee Dore, had representation of Lorain’s industry past and present. This tree was especially thought provoking due to the loss of those recognizable industries. The Maritime Tree was also displayed this year. Thanks once again to Frank and Carolyn Sipkovsky, Renee Dore, Lisa Miller, The Weismans, Ernest Ritchey and Gavin Beres .

Renee Dore has also continue to be our “speaker’s bureau” giving talks to various organizations.

Peggy  Gillmore- (Josephine Jean) Gillmore 4th Street, Lorain Ohio

Peggy Gillmore-
(Josephine Jean) Gillmore
4th Street, Lorain Ohio


Following up on finding a home for some of the artifacts from Peggy Gillmore’s basket. I am pleased to say we donated the original hand – drawn early map of the neighborhood to the Mayor’s office, which was framed, takes pride of place on the 7th floor.

Handwritten Gillmore Map date unknown

Handwritten Gillmore Map date unknown

Matt Weisman graciously donated framed prints of the maps of early Lorain , now on the walls of city council

Peggy  map

We also were able to give to the Office of the Mayor and the citizens of Lorain the United States Flag that flew over the Nation’s Capital, (boxed for display) along with the proclamation honoring the young men from Lorain who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We returned the old pulpit Bible from the latter 1800’s (damaged when the church was hit by the 1924 tornado)’s to Rev. Donahue and Christian Temple Disciples of Christ (5th Street). Gary Fischer (CVSI Executive Board member) an architect was given the old blue prints for Mayor Braun’s house on 5th and Oberlin. .

hattravels

Our financials for the year end as follows. However once again for every dollar donated 100% of the donation went toward the project for which it was donated. This is an “ALL” Volunteer organization

CHARLESTON VILLAGE SOC. End of year financial report 2015
Main Account/ Captain’s Hat
Starting Balance carry-over 2014 = $101.01
Donations 2015 = $764.10
Expenses 2015 = 0
Ending Balance $865.11

Cemetery Fund
Starting balance carry-over from 2014 =$ 290.97
Donations 2015 = $327.00
Expenses 2015= $59.64
ENDING BALANCE 2015 = $558.33

Raffle Account
Starting balance carry -over from 2014= $43.35
Donations 2015 = 0
Expenses 2015 = 0
ENDING BALANCE 2014= $43.35

Settlers’ Watch
Starting balance carry-over 2014 =$ 307.02
Donations 2015 (Cash/Checks) = $ 260.00
Expenses 2015 = $481.50
ENDING BALANCE 2015= $85.52

Admiral King Tribute Site
Starting Balance carry- over 2014 = $221.71-
Donations Cash 2015 = $35.00
Expenses 2015= $ 172.88
Ending Balance 2015= $83.83

Eric Barnes Heroes-Walk-
Starting balance carry over 2014 = $139.71
Donations for 2015= $160.00
Expenses for 2015= $200.00
Ending Balance 2015= $99.71

We had a total of cash donations in 2015 of $1,546.10 and our cash expenses came to $913.92for all projects. A full accounting is available upon request.

As you can see our volunteers, partnerships and in kind donors are the power that keeps the projects running. Without the donations of plants, rope, trees, aggregate, concrete, paint, sealer, publicity, photographs and “at cost” and manpower none of these projects could be accomplished and maintained. Our biggest expense is the cost of solar lighting and batteries every year.

Our wish list includes WATER and ELECTRICITY. The in-kind donations from our supporters are, by my estimation, 3 times the monetary value and are priceless. However all cash donations are gratefully accepted and CVSI is a 501c3 – Thank You

Respectfully submitted January 24th 2016 by Co- Chair CVSI Loraine Ritchey

January 25, 2016 at 1:23 pm 6 comments

Older Posts


Categories

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 169 other followers

May 2016
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 169 other followers