Posts filed under ‘CRA’

Morning Journal- Punishing Press-Part 4

Chris Ritchey


Part One :

Part Two :

Part Three:

Part Three cont.

I have spent hours going through  old writings and blogs. Unfortunately, as I  have said a lot of the links are missing and in fact blogs have disappeared from the WWW. I can only go  by  the hard copy  I have. I can only  assure you  the reader  the information is true and I  have those documents in hard copy or in my  files electronically.

Here were go:

Front Page News .. a tale of a super woman, well maybe not 😉

WoM Logo by Scott Baklar

Jon Veard & word of mouth scott bakalar on 22 Nov 2006


““I’m going to extricate myself from downtown Lorain,” Veard said.
“I don’t have to do business in Lorain, especially if I’m not wanted,” he said. Veard, 65, who has run his United Properties development company in downtown Lorain for the last 44 years, said it will be “easier to do business elsewhere.”
“Admittedly, council has taken Jon to task a few times, but council has approved projects with him involved, such as the restoration of the Duane Building,” Foltin said.
Veard said he hasn’t faced opposition only from council, but criticism from citizen activists, such as downtown resident Loraine Ritchie. Veard said Ritchie has been a critic of his developments.

NOTE: THE ONLY  CRITICISM I  GAVE was his plans to  build condos in the historic park”

What is she attacking me for?” Veard said. “Let her develop downtown Lorain.”
Ritchie declined to speak to The Morning Journal.
But Veard said he’s tired of the criticism.
“I lost money on the Duane Building. I lost money on the Antlers Building. I haven’t made a dime yet on City Center. … Let them throw darts at someone else.”

The  quote came from the article in the Morning Journal- Kate Giammarise November 2006

HOWEVER A DAY  LATER… Mr. Veard  stated to  Joe Medici of the Chronicle

“Despite having three buildings up for sale downtown, local developer Jon Veard said Tuesday he has no intention of leaving the city…..“My roots are here. All my business and banking relationships are here. It would be a nightmare to move all that,” Veard said. “These people know me and when I ask for something it’s a done deal because they trust me.”
“I’m not selling because I’m mad about the park. Maybe (City Council) did me a favor when they shot it down. Building condos in downtown Lorain is risky business,” Veard said.

Which  publication printed the correct information? Remember media moguls you  are only  as good as your sources ( biased or not)? This knee jerk reaction maybe to  Cole and Co caused  Cole to  jump  once more into  the Editorial mode and chastise me  a “history  bonehead.. sorry  can’t link  to  it  BUT here is my  response :

As I  decided to  BOYCOTT the Morning Journal…. You  can find that WoM post here TUDOR Boycott

Who got it wrong John Cole? I think I know – tch tch tch – how much egg is on the face of your publication on this one? And poor Mr. Veard – he came across in your article as a whiney, sorry, pouting, juvenile, it seems I have more respect for Mr. Veard than his ”friends”. You did him no favor – believe me – in your portrayal of this Lorain Developer. What my international readers (and I have a “barrelful”) must think of this community, I shudder to imagine.
NOTE – Oh! and one more thing, it has been remarked that Mr. Veard is upset that he didn’t get the chance to show City Council his “plans” for our park  ( that other editorial  chastising Lorain City  Council….before they voted No! the first time. Check the minutes, I think you will find that Mayor Craig Foltin ”called for the vote” that night – that is right Mayor Craig Foltin.

And then YOUR “Love letter to Veard” Oh! come on now – hearts and flowers begging him – Don’t go-Please stay – when he apparently had NO intention of leaving. I ask you who is the “blow-hard and crank and short sighted” individual whose “long winded” piece sent the negative message of Lorain’s developer diva -great publicity for Lorain? Shoe fits – wear it JC!

But all is not lost – Cole and Company you can – by a change in editorial policy, adhering to unbiased news reporting and an apology to all who ”dare to suffer the editorial wrath” by stepping up to the plate and to those “long winded politicians” who do the best they can to represent THEIR constituents on City Council stop this ”Old-Boy Cott” Up to YOU!!!!!!!!

2007  was the Lorain Bicentennial  we had a city  wide celebration focused in on the little park. Now don’t go  looking for coverage- John Cole  denied any  coverage , that is until  so  many  organizations involved  took issue there was a small blurb in the Saturday section.

Link to  a number of photos of the event :

However, the opening ceremonies were taped and one participant  berated the Morning Journal  for their stance and lack of coverage for the event. Problem was it was ME who  was spearheading the whole shebang.. Oh  well happened without him or the Morning Journal….


Tom Skoch

John Cole retired in February  2008 and a new editor Tom Skoch took over the editorial seat. Mr. Skoch reached out to  me and we came to  a friendly  truce. He was really  kind and instrumental in getting Charleston Village  projects publicity  etc. for the Admiral King Tribute Space, Eric Barnes Heroes Walk and Settlers’ Watch . He may  not have been overly  fond of yours truly  but  he could see past the tree to  the forest.

Although  I  have been known to  come out fingers flying  when I felt the Morning Journal and others   and its staff needed a different perspective :


You see at the same time all this bruhaha was going on  with  me  the news media were all over Councilman Dan Given and others with  the Community  Reinvestment Areas. This too had its birthing in politics and the blame game ensued.

Before I get pilloried once more let me tell you  I  was involved in the CRA situation before any  of the media.I  did my  homework and I  have files two  inches thick, Courts, the players and their agendas, articles  comments  and documentation up  the ying yang.   Anyone wants to  see them -only  too  willing… Oh  and the politics  are mind boggling.

However Dan Given became the scapegoat  even though  the Plain dealer article OCTOBER 2007  used  in the court case had 11 inaccuracies  (  I wrote to  the Editor pointing out the journalists biased leanings  – no  reply) 

 NOTE: Article is no  longer on line but I  have the hard copy. There was a  friendly  relationship  between  the county’s attorney  and the journalist….. I  have the article

Later on I  took Tom and the MJ to  task  over an article in 2009I  had just 6 days earlier lost my  son to  cancer – but it was still important to  me that truth  and the whole truth  should be explored.

Dan Given was also pilloried in the article of December 10th 2009 but the readership of the Morning Journal has been denied the “rest of the story ” and denied so far as they  would not print Mr. Given’s rebuttal  leading their readership and those of the community in a direction that is less than accurate.  I  published his letter to  the MJ because they  wouldn’t- I  would suggest a read of that letter found in the link  below:

When you  go  to  the comments of that post  you  will find Mr. Skoch  had his say .. but since the claim by  the editors stated they  had reached out to  Mr. Given originally they  apparently  missed the part in all the bru haha that the Law Director had told Council members ( because of litigation they  couldn’t comment ) although  at least two  did …

Does ANY of this matter NOW? You  tell me as  recently  as March  12th  2020 Dan Given was accused of public corruption in a letter chastising    now Mayor Bradley  from the Lorain FOP for  supporting a political candidate they  have issues with. Click on jpg for a clearer picture.

Although  letters  and legal stating  no  wrongdoing 15 YEARS LATER DAN GIVEN IS STILL BEING ACCUSED. 10 YEARS  cleared of any  wrongdoing AND YET STILL IN 2020  THE FOP  ACCUSATION OF public corruption..



Given Cleared 2010


WHY ? If anyone had really  done ALL the homework and evidence complied and not just dwelled on the surface of the CRA situation  the story  would be  different, believe me I  looked at that CRA situation until I  was sick of it and the ones that should be held responsible  weren’t.

AND NOW!!! We have Mary  Springowski feeling the wrath  of imho  of a up-jumped egotistical  32 year old reporter  Kevin Martin / Morning Journal  trying the name and shame game  because Mary , in order to  reach out and provide information  to  her constituents with  information and participation. by  pasting  an article  on her facebook page ! Horrors she apparently  single handedly  has brought down the print media local by  publishing the article

Facebook post by  Mary :


( Mary) “What is happening with this money? Who should benefit from this? Who CAN benefit from this? There must be some regulations. If this is CDBG then it is geared towards low to moderate income areas. What are your thoughts? Remember, if you want them to be part of the permanent record, post your comments and thoughts on the city’s official Facebook page!

( Morning Journal)Lorain, Elyria to get stimulus money in coronavirus response By Richard Payerchin @MJ_JournalRick on Twitter Apr 1, 2020

The cities of Lorain and Elyria will receive money from the first allocations in the federal government’s economic stimulus bill due to the novel coronavirus.

The city of Lorain will receive $725,720, while Elyria will receive $439,110 in Community Development Block Grant money, according to an announcement from Sen. Sherrod Brown.……..

Innocent enough  one would have thought HOWEVER Mr. Martin thought otherwise  and  through  Twitter started on April 9th  to chastise Mary  for an  article written NOT by  Mr Martin but by  Rick Payerchin……..although  Martin  states he is speaking for himself ( that didn’t last long ) Click on the jpg for a clearer picture



Has Mr. Payerchin , the journalist  and writer  of the piece,  contacted Mary  with  his displeasure? NO!  according to  Mary.  Has Daryl Tucker the Editor  contacted Mary?  No! apparently  not BUT 13 days after Mary  posted the article on face book Kevin Martin  of Muck Rack  fame  and membership complained to  the Facebook Police for copy  right infringement –

APRIL 13th

If you believe that this content should not have been removed from Facebook, you can contact the complaining party directly to resolve your issue:

Report #: 253706562467430
Rights Owner: MediaNews Group Inc.
Copyrighted Work: Other 

NOTE Martin does not use a personal email account in filing his complaint  but that of the Morning Journal .

This should never have  gone this far…. I  wouldn’t have had to spend five days  writing and reliving the punishing press… and maybe  “raking the muck” because I  was angry at the “punishment not fitting the crime”

All it would’ve taken was a phone call to  Mary  to  take down the post, explain why  there was a concern but No  the crusading journalist  jumped on his high  horse and banner of punishing the politician of the people……

WHY? what is his agenda …. when obviously  the writer  of the offending piece and the Editor didn’t complain…..  but because of Mr. Martin  -Mrs. Springowski  will no longer share , be interviewed  or subscribe to  the Morning Journal, and Mary  is always newsworthy  so  who  suffers by  this petulant posturing? NOT Mary ..  maybe Martin should be taught the old adage :

“Cutting off the nose to spite the face” is an expression to describe a needlessly self-destructive over-reaction to a problem: “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face” is a warning against acting out of pique, or against pursuing revenge in a way that would damage oneself more than the object of one’s anger


THE END then again maybe NOT!!!








April 17, 2020 at 12:22 pm Leave a comment

Because THEY CAN!!! The Manipulators – Lorain

Free Speech by Chris D. Ritchey

As regular readers are aware for the past months I have been in somewhat of a self-imposed isolation. It isn’t because I am making a concerted effort to
“stay out of life as I knew it”- I am just not “me “ anymore.

Situations that would have me “rallying, promoting, writing and tilting at windmills” are very few – NOW – mainly I shrug!

But even in my self-imposed isolation from community , situations come to light. I won’t go into details here it isn’t my place . BUT the bottom line is that there are good people fighting for the truth , having it smothered in a spin, half-truths and in some cases outright deceit – ( I know all too well that feeling) and good people are being hurt and in some cases reputations tarnished.

Once tarnished they never shine as brightly .

“How do you get the truth out, how do you deal with those that lie, when being accused not to your face?”

These are just one or two questions that have arisen from at least four of the recent situations I know about in my isolation. They run the gambit from “professional capacity “- “volunteers”- “organizations” – and “educational.”

You see the people who are manipulating truth in all these situations are supposedly “trustworthy ” – members of the established community of Lorain – members of religious communities ( although different denominations), people who are leaders, those in financial institutions and some are well-respected in their respective walks of life, some were even classed as friends who for various reasons have bent , twisted and used untruths hurting others. Is it greed, vindictiveness social standing, pay backs, wanting perceived power over others, personal accolades – it depends on each situation.

All of the truth victims involved in these situations are people, who get on with their own lives, jobs and are the worlds “helpers”. They are innocents, not the cynic that I am– they believed in the people they thought they knew, worked with , joined with and now as manipulation and spinning of truths enter their world they are ill-equipped to deal with the resulting conflict.

You see they believed in truth and people doing the right thing- after all they share the same culture of community – or so they thought………

“it is just a matter of pointing out the error, the facts of the situation – letting the powers that be, the respective community know what happened or is happening- truth will out- truth will remedy the situation, “

BUT that wasn’t the case in any of the situations and as a consequence they have lost their innocence – they have found to their chagrin , there are very few that will stand behind you- who will tilt the windmills.

Most of our societal community just want the “unpleasant situation “ to go away – they don’t want to be reminded that those they share a pew with, a table, an organization, a meeting, an interest are capable of lies and manipulation because to acknowledge the resulting fallout they might have to react!

Sometimes the injured party doesn’t even know they are being injured- they are the last to know until blind sided by the “manipulators”- they reel with shock because they, in their innocence and truth, couldn’t even imagine how to manipulate events such as the manipulators have done .

I was reminded recently of how “society ” USED to hold accountable those that went beyond the pale – society no longer holds accountable. Why because most of society is now caught up in the game playing , greed, apathy and manipulation.

I found out months after the fact that Sue Lombardi and her offspring were telling people at the visitation and at their church :

Can you believe it, his own mother isn’t even here! She boycotted the funeral because it wasn’t done her way!”

“You cannot believe what we have had to put up with”


“Yes, she’s an UNNATURAL mother.”

I also found out the Lombardi’s good friend and businessman was sending out emails to his “list” about me – inferring that I disrupted my own son’s funeral in order to somehow justify their taking the remains of my son burying them without his family even being told – ( How anyone can justify those actions is beyond me)
This was the most despicable act of betrayal at a time of such pain and anguish as to be untenable but they felt no such pain in the passing of my child – their calculating coldness proved that. Lies were being told to justify the actions of callousness and greed and since I was unaware of the extent of this manipulation I could not fight those lies at the time.

BUT I will continue to write the truth of my family’s situation . You see my truth has documentation, letters, emails, witness statements and those will be exposed to the clean air of truth on this blog as my ” in search of my son “ journey ends.

Now I am not an innocent , I am a cynic, one of the reasons I kept all documentation – I will fight the lies in my case the only way I know how –

I will have my justice and I will expose the underbelly of those that compounded the ultimate grief to a world-wide societynot that I expect society to do anything but my truth will be there – documentation and all– my principles that I live and will die by are intact.

But I cannot answer the questions put to me recently by good people

“what can we do?”

Lawyers???? in some instances those are in play but lawyers don’t advocate they compromise and settle– they do not tilt at windmills.

News media – most media are not going to do an investigation – you might get a five-minute wonder headline but then again depends on who is in fact printing the truth 😉

Just a few days ago two accounts of the recent firing of Lorain Community Development Director Tracy Udrija (emphasis mine)

Chronicle Telegram

Gilchrist was angry that she allowed her secretary to backdate a memo requesting vacation time. Udrija said Gilchrist also may have been unhappy that she agreed to meet with Democratic mayoral candidate Chase Ritenauer, who defeated Krasienko in the May 3 primary and Republican mayoral hopeful Timothy Baxter after they requested meetings

NOTE: CT states “they “ Baxter and Ritenauer requested the meetings

but in the Morning Journal a different truth once again emphasis mine
Morning Journal

Yesterday, both candidates said Vecchio-Udrija had contacted them to meet this week and discuss her department and its programs.

So what is society to believe ? I checked and I know which article is correct but how many check????????? did any of you notice??????Maybe you didn’t care but behind this very simple “who is telling the truth” could be the foundation for a lawsuit that could cost the citizens of Lorain mega bucks but will surely line the pockets of yet more lawyers 😦

There isn’t much you can do if society doesn’t react then your truths are lost spun out of existence to all but a few – I don’t believe in Karma – I believe scum rises to the top of the pond though and blots out the light of truth turning the waters murky And to the question WHY?

the answer from this cynic is

“because THEY CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the next time you – society – the ones that are aware – as you attend your church service- shake hands at the “peace be with you ” or at a meeting – or a function- congratulate the “winners” remember as you clasp that hand you “society” are enabling what ails society .

Note this blog is open ( as they the victims of what ails Lorain are already aware) to them should they ever wish to tell their truths. ( documentation and all 😉

May 31, 2011 at 10:49 am 6 comments

Media – as the word turns or rolls – Lorain

The writing game –

Previously I have written about media manipulation and language when it came to Lorain. In particular the CRA debacle
and recently with regard to the importance of the usage of language as it pertains to our lawmakers

Can you really believe everything you read just because it is published?

Can a reader be mislead by just the absence of words?

Can the mere absence of a phrase or description or clarification tilt an article?

Can a clever turn of phrase lead the unsuspecting and less cynical of readers down a path directed by a writer whilst still being somewhat true to the facts?

And if that is the case should the whole article then be looked at with a view to overbalanced in the world of fair and balanced media?
And what difference does it really make?

As I have stated before published articles are often used in the court system where lives, property and rights are at stake.

Lorain County dot com – The Lorain forum had a poster directing the readers to the following article about Lorain and the Lorain LPD.
Excessive ForceCleveland Scene Magazine- by Kyle Swenson

NOTE: THIS POST IS NOT ABOUT THE LPD/DOJ/MONTELON subject matter or in fact the Allen/ Smith case – readers already know my views on that aspect”
THIS POST IS ABOUT THE “WRITTEN WORD” and the importance of words- something else I have been exploring lately

I read the article written by Kyle Swenson – I have to say I liked and yes! enjoyed, the somewhat flowery, but very descriptive writing of Swenson. His writing was a change from the normal “plugged into a format” , sound bite reporting of late .

Swenson’s clever usage of the language I appreciated BUT as I read the “descriptive paragraph” introducing Lorain I was a little confused

Nestled on Lake Erie, the low-slung cityscape of old storefronts is dwarfed by the spidering black architecture of nearby steel mills, the longtime municipal heartbeat. Today, its working-class neighborhoods are a crazy quilt of gang turf; gunshots are common on the weed-cracked streets. Residents say they come home from work, bolt the door, and don’t dare peep out until sunup. Council members have been known to make their door-to-door rounds with Kevlar vests and handguns.

Swenson’s eloquent turn of phrase painted a very unattractive picture of Lorain. I could just see in my minds- eye the spidering black architecture dwarfing the store fronts

Lorain circa 1899

Swenson had got part of that picture in “one part of Lorain “ aptly described but those of us that live here KNOW that is not the whole picture of Lorain farther up the street in other wards or along the lake shore where Lorainites “nestle” we have views to delight and savour. And when they talk of “shots fired” well you can find them here see for yourself.
Shots Fired Along the Black River This Morning
Photo Mark Teleha

And when they say the sun is setting ( hat tip to the British Empire) on Lorain – well it truly does:

PHOTO Mark Teleha

Yes, we have some definite road problems with potholes and weed filled surfaces – but we aren’t alone

PHOTO JOHN HORTON CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER Cleveland has some too actually.

I could do the tit for tat Lorain vs Cleveland ( as it is the Cleveland Scene Magazine) the them and us but I am reminded that all things are relative.
Source Needed

A few years ago I attended a function in Cleveland with the “elite” I was the guest of an “entertainment critic” when the “uppity Cleveland entertainment critic” learned one of the areas covered by my host was Lorain –

“poor you” having to cover such an intellectually challenged area …. what do they have in the way of theatre? Do they even know what a live performance is in Lorain – how can you be bothered with nothing more exciting than poor “community theatre” snicker snicker-

My host was somewhat embarrassed knowing I was living in Lorain and had a great deal of experience with “snicker snicker” community theatre in my time.

And then the “critic” turned to me

Don’t tell me you are from LAHRAIN”

No, I said I am from London – you know that little town in England where Cleveland theatre is seen as truck and bus and Cleveland referred to as the Mistake on the Lake– however even in that remote backwater we did hear of your river catching fire

( Catty I know) but again all things are relative.

So back to the media ……..

It was the following sentence in that short paragraph of 10 pages and over 4 thousand words that caused me to sigh. The picture drawn by Swenson gives “running for council” in Lorain a totally different slant – no wonder they need all these fundraisers I never realized the added expenses for a Lorain City Council “dress code”

Council members have been known to make their door-to-door rounds with Kevlar vests and handguns.

Now let us take this sentence and write it factually.

FORMER Lorain City Council member Dennis Flores, now a member of a block watch, on his own volition patrols his street, which is known for gang and drug activity, with a vest purchased by his friends and with a concealed weapon.

Just the little difference of a “s” “Council members ( plural) – Council members making their door to door rounds- leading the reader up a totally different path than the facts – to read that sentence one would believe our council members are armed with their vest”S” and handgun”S” whilst checking or politicking on our city streets all over Lorain .

So you see how one little missing word ( former) , one “s” ( members and vests and handguns” can make all the difference .

I CAN be grammatically challenged , spell the way I was taught the english language, have run-on sentences, but I am just a blogger and my own editor 🙂 not held to the higher standard of those that are in the “real media”.

Reader Beware there is more than a “S” at stake , more than an absence of a word – reputations can be lost – perceptions tainted . the legal system flummoxed and a town castigated by the adding of a letter and absence of a “word” .

Beware the English language the Chronicle Telegram has this headline on the 4th of March 2011

Mother upset son was assigned to slave roll in social studies lesson

I would be upset too if my 10 year old had to roll slaves about-

NOTE: by 6 p.m. that evening the ” roll” had been changed to role – could that be a case of revisionist writing 😉 Can you imagine the poor Chronicle reader telling a friend

I know I am not crazy I swear I saw a story about a child being made to roll a slave but NOW it is gone


To be continued…………

March 7, 2011 at 12:05 am 10 comments

J’accuse- Truth -Justice – the American Way

Part One:

Part Two

As I wrote and pondered and tried to tell the “rest of the story” with what was happening with the CRA(p) – ( P standing for political)- I noticed something that worried me and should have worried anyone who holds a public office. “

“How many lawyers do you need to advise you when making legislative decisions when holding a public office “

Mark Stewart – J.Accuse

The Auditor in question – Mark Stewart- had claimed “politics” as a concern with the County’s Law Dept. when wishing to hire his own outside counsel- Subodh Chanda- as he didn’t like the opinion he was given by the county’s legal dept( although the Supreme Court did agree with that opinion eventually).

Depending on the usage of the word “politics”there was a lot of “politics” involved in the CRA(p) .

So here I was the non “political” observer worrying about a situation that really didn’t affect me. All the wordsmithying, innuendo and casting aspersions as to the integrity of the “accused” was leaving the accusers and anyone else holding office in a vulnerable ( should you always get a 2nd legal opinion ?)

In every article written , every discussion the “accused “ maintained there was no wrong doing or intent . In fact this public servant sat with these other public servants week in and week out in Lorain City Council chambers – they followed the same legislative procedures -voting on the same issues- chairing council committees and the “process” of sending legislation to full council and all that entails- they knew full well the legislative procedures , they were not “on lookers”. The “accused” HAD in fact followed the direction of the City of Lorain’s LAW DIRECTOR- in all things and decisions made. .

Craig Snodgrass J’Accuse

The fact that there was even a letter from that Law Director on the City of Lorain letter head apparently didn’t matter.

That letter was never published ( apart from on my blog) – just an aside once in a while in newspaper articles that it existed as a man was pilloried in the press and in “politics”

Greg Holcomb J’Accuse

Whoa thought I – these same individuals who are casting the aspersions use “every day” opinions from their respective Law Directors- ask for advice and follow that advice-

I wondered what they were letting themselves in for-
How can someone who followed the advice of the city’s chief legal counsel still be held to censure?

Does this mean that a public official should then get another legal opinion in everything they do “just in case “- It didn’t make sense to me The public servants who follow the advice of county and city legal opinions everyday day they seemingly picked and chose which opinions suited them. The accusers had, in my opinion, based their accusations on supposition, hypothesis and self-serving interpretation of the law.

AHHHHHH politics!

Phil Betleski J’Accuse

And yet a man’s integrity , his intent and reputation had been tarnished. For three years this carried on- until finally another letter from a another Law Director .
LD Riley letter CRA

I wonder if those that cast the aspersions and claims of wrong doing and who put “character” on trial in the court of public opinion have apologised – In my opinion they damned well should!

As I looked at the photos of the “politico accusers” I noticed they all had “flags” adorning the background behind their smiling faces even Subodh Chandra is in full swing with “the American way”

It seems to me those that espouse the virtues of the “American Way” should now be stepping up and rectifying the actions of their accusations.

You don’t get to throw the mud and walk away ( in my world) leaving the stain of politics on one’s character.

The accusers , for me at least, have lost respect, not only personally but professionally and definitely politically- I for one look upon them with a certain degree of skepticism…….. J’Accuse………..

The Chronicle and the Morning Journal both put the “rest of the story “ out on their front pages last week

As for the Plain Dealer – well if it was mentioned it certainly wasn’t mentioned on their front page as the “aspersions” cast that October day of “THREE YEARS” ago merited.

It seems to me that you may be innocent in a court of law until “proven” guilty but in the world of politics, media and the court of public opinion you can be guilty until you prove yourself innocent!

Is this to be the new “justice” around here lately – throw aspersions and half-truths around enough and maybe something will hit a target and if not

Oh well we will just walk away and find another “target”-

In the meantime those of us who have been “accused” – no matter our proven innocence will always have the muddying of our reputations

” oh you know who that is he / she / they were involved with??????????”



December 20, 2010 at 10:07 am 3 comments

J’accuse- The Accusers- the CRA(p)

Part One:

Here we are coming full circle – In J’accuse ( found here )
I wrote:

Everyday you have to prove innocence because someone made an accusation, that on the face of it, was believable. You spend your days “explaining” and your nights waiting for the next phone call or knock on the door wanting to know what you are doing and where you have been .

It is only when you look into the “rest of the story” that you realize that as ridiculous as these accusations really were the suffering, expense and the toll on a family -wasn’t funny.

So I will continue to “make it my business”-having lived through “J’accuse”- to make sure that no one else (no matter who) doesn’t have to go through the same thing-
I will take accusations with skepticism , especially by ”nom de plumes” in the same context as a
“man in a tree in a dress, shooting a ray gun that makes steel doors disappear, whilst waggling through a slit in the fence.”

Accusations: I first wrote about the CRA situation in Lorain on November 24th 2006– long before anyone else was interested- and I attended meetings when there was not one “real media” person there at all

Whether you agree with the program or not is NOT the point of this post.

I have probably written more posts, read more documents, know the players better than anyone- when it comes to this situation I WAS NOT a surface dweller .

I watched the spin -the he said/ she said, the media coverage and in this instance ‘THEY WERE AND STILL ARE THE SURFACE DWELLERS”
Image – Scott Bakalar

I wrote in January 2008 the following post on this blog:

CRA or Confusion Runs Amuck
Now don’t bother to follow any of the links in that article because the PD article is “no longer available”- the links to the articles on WoM are no longer available – SIGH and even the Supreme Court Case and Attorney Chandra’s diatribe as to his accusations has been moved.

BUT as a gentle reminder of what was printed and who said what in the Plain Dealer article October 28 th 2007 written by Leila Atassi you can access word documents ( yeah I saved it) of that article
Page 1PDpag1
Page 2pd page2
Page 3pdpage3
Page 4.pdpage4

So after you have played catchup I will continue with “the rest of the story” as this Plain Dealer article was the most damaging to the reputation( in my opinion) to the “accused” and was “used in the legalese” sent to the Ohio Supreme Court by Mark Stewart’s Attorney- Subodh Chandra.

The ONLY article used in the argument for dismissal (page 55 of 84 (Motion to Dismiss) the Ohio Supreme Court Case Is that Plain Dealer article

Although in April and May of 2007 ( a year after the legislation was approved) at least three council people (all whom worked for the county) and two for the auditor, Mark Stewart, at the time Councilman Snodgrass – Greg Holcomb (now in Congresswoman Sutton’s office) – Phil Beltleski (pot calling the kettle black)
They all had their accusations documented as well- they accused and interpreted the law to their own spin : Remember as you read the accusations – the “accused” maintained NO wrong doing right from the very beginning- but his voice was not heard

Time after time in print and in the public arena the man was maligned in the press and in public– but the conspiracy theorists and the finger pointers had found a “scape goat”- rather than – in my opinion – admit to their own “professional failings”. For three years this continued- a reputation besmirched why? how? Because of J’Accuse

NOTE:You can access all the CRA posts on this blog here

December 17, 2010 at 9:08 pm 2 comments

Somebody give me a swift kick – pulleeze

WHY DO I DO IT ?????

I promised myself not to get involved with the “comments” on local forums ( a lot of them are the same people anyway posting under two or three names.)

I haven’t learned my lesson from last year and the year before and the year before.

I quit “cold turkey” (I thought ) reading the forums. I was doing very well too but then someone will contact me

“Did you see?”

Now in my present state it takes a lot to get me to come to the surface.

One poster on a local forum basically said who cares what you people think and lumped me with another group who loved to pontificate and share their thoughts.

I thought about that and really who does care what I think- who am I – nobody – can I move mountains -nope and maybe the information I have to share really is self-serving and of no account. Although I have tried not to be self-serving but they are entitled to their opinion. Besides it would free up a lot of wasted time .

So the point of this post –

I went to MJ and the CRA(p) latest legal go around. And yes! I fell off the wagon I started reading the comments section
Reading the comments I realized that most of the posters are getting the information from “sound bites of newspaper articles” ( not a good thing) , getting the time lines blurred as to who said what when- for the past few articles I have shook my head and stayed away I didn’t comment directly .

But then today as the posters wrote and discussed I stepped into the CRA(p) again . I knew it would bring out the “angry in amherst” type, the supporters of “off with their heads”- the disinformation and the confusion…. As I hit the submit button trying to clear some confusion I thought :

Why did you do that?
What are you doing? You know too well there is no arguing with ignorance.

And anway who appointed you the Chief watchdog of the CRA mess and misinformation police. People really don’t want the facts that are rabidly tearing one another to “posting pieces” in the comment section. Haven’t you learned it just gives you a headache?

Give it up already – sink back into your apathetic existence it is easier and anyway –

who the hell cares what you think.

The next time someone sees I have posted on one of these forums do me a favor and come and give me good swift kick please !!!!!!

Or does anyone know of a good support group “Posting Prevention Anonymous” perhaps ????

August 13, 2010 at 10:46 pm 4 comments

CRA (p) Quotes of the Day!!!

UPDATE SATURDAY ( The Chronicle has a quote too 🙂

Some residents who lost their abatements as part of the settlement were irritated Friday as they showed up at City Hall to sign paperwork so they could get the refund.

Jim Gocek who lives in Morningside, a 55-and-older community on the city’s west side, called the form “blackmail.”

Gocek, 68, said the whole process has created an atmosphere of mistrust between residents who built or bought in a CRA and the city.

“We’re all very mistrustful of Council and the city,” he said. “We want it done and over with … We’re not going to sue the city, but it’s hurt the trust. It has led to feelings of mistrust and irritation

Caught in the middle!!!!

Remember this quote from the Morning Journal article ( emphasis mine)?

“If someone has a lawyer, they should discuss this matter with their lawyer before coming in if they’re represented, but we’re there to try and answer questions and inform people,” Smith said.

Armed with our “questions” and my trusty tape recorder, my daughter and I turned up at City Hall at 9:30 for the 10 am. meeting .

We were moved from the Police Training room into Council Chambers.



Now WHY would that be I wonder?



Would that be 9 o”clock tonight?

I asked :

Do you want a copy of our questions ?

NO! we don’t

Therefore I went to the 7th floor and handed the questions to the Law Dept . -since I was assured by the MJ report that they were there to answer questions and inform .

So although we were first because we had our list of questions ( more than the required 2??? Linda Keys ( Deputy Auditor for the County) and Howard Goldberg ( Community Development and the City) took a little lady who wanted to “APPLY” for the CRA on her 2009 Build. She started signing the paperwork and then there was a YES ? NO? discussion between the City and the County – Goldberg and Keys left the room to Council Caucus Room.

After 20 minutes of waiting and the Council Chamber filling up with homeowners ( where is the media when you want them ???) I personally got fed up with the fiasco went into the pine sol soaked hallway and called the author of the City of Lorain’s letter Mr. Robert Gilchrist and left a message that this was a fiasco!

Mr. Gilchrist came down to the chambers almost immediately and off he went into the Caucas room.

After some explanation it turns out that we were back on a first come first served basis , and that clarification was needed from attorneys for this lady.

( Note) There were three copies of the Judgement available ( put quietly on a table – no explanation as to what they were) with the supporting documentation which actually made this document 4 times the size of the one downloaded off the City of Lorain website. Why is this important?

If you sign the the Consent Form you declare that you have reviewed this document. A straw poll of those in attendance when asked if they had read this epistle of legalese NOT ONE HAD! But they were already to sign that form ……..Amazing !!!!! Didn’t this fiasco start with council members not reading???

Since it was now first come first served -we had our turn at the table gave the City and the County our list of questions.



Basically , if you are like my daughter a new build , you will have to sign the settlement consent form because to quote:

“If you are going to stand on ceremony of not signing that consent form and giving us the W9 unless these are signed and these aren’t signed and it is February 20th you have just taken a big roll of dice “

Apparently the abatement will be null and void and the Auditor can and has the power to also make you pay back taxes that would be due.

Either sign by February 18th /19th not to sue and sign off on any redress ( no matter what happens- remember these people have already been caught up in legal maneuverings. ) or you lose. Over the proverbial barrel

There was much more but the smell of Pine sol overdose permeating the air from the the hallways , the fact that the goobledegook gave us a headache , it was nearly lunchtime and a baby needed feeding and feeling sorry for the rest of the homeowners who were waiting – we left to return another day ( maybe then things will be clearer between the City and County and they will be on the same page, because as we left another trip to the Caucas room was happening.

February 12, 2010 at 7:52 pm 8 comments

Into the CRA(P) Again Questions or Will Pigs Fly?

Let us see if pigs will fly 🙂

Questions regarding CRA Consent Judgment and Order. Please respond fully and in writing by Tuesday February 16, 2010 .

We have a contract with the City of Lorain dated June 4th 2007, Community Reinvestment Area Agreement for Residential Property Ohio Revised Code 3735. We are also documented as being a “new build as per county records June 2009.

1. How would signing the Consent to Terms of Consent order effect my contract with the City of Lorain ? Would signing this require a new contract? Would accepting make our previous contract with the City of Lorain null and void?

2. If we do not consent will the City make null and void our abatement (as contracted) by February 26th 2010. Would that not violate our existing contractual agreement?

3. Why do I have to agree to consent to receive my fees back, why is this tied into this order? Item 6 Page 12 of the Consent order states:
“The City will not collect fees from, and will reimburse previously collected fees to Consenting Homeowners”. Should we decline to sign how does that effect the reimbursement of our fees?

4. What happens if only a minority of homeowners as described in the Consent Judgment and Order sign the consent? Is there a minimum number required by the court?

5. Why is the Consent Judgment and Order tied to the passage of New Legislation in CRA 3 and 4?

6. What assurances do I have (remember I already have a contract that isn’t being honored) that I will receive my abatement ? I believe that I already have consented to receive an abatement as a new build; why do I have to effectively sign away any rights I have for redress if the City and County renege again?

7. Should City Council not pass the “New Legislation” how would that impact the Consent Order and Judgment ?

8. Should we be unable to meet with our personal attorney for advice on this by February 19th what happens?

9. The Form of Homeowner Consent to Terms of Consent Order states, The Property Owners acknowledge that they have been given the opportunity to review the terms of this Consent and the terms of the Consent Order with an attorney and have either reviewed this Consent and the Consent Order with an attorney, or have declined to do so.
Have you any idea how much an attorney will charge for the review and will the City, County etc. pay for this review of 18 pages of legalese?

This debacle has already cost the property owners who entered into a contract with the city in good faith. Will the City assist with our legal fees as per the settlement with the county attorney, will the City and or County help defray our costs by reimbursing legal fees incurred through this Consent Form or by supplying an attorney ?

10. If we do not sign the Consent Form are we liable to pay back our 2009 taxes?

11. If we agree to sign, when does the abatement start- are we liable for the current tax bill due February 26th ?

12. Please explain the term “Generally” those homeowners who purchased a home built between April 18th 2006 and December 31st 2008 can expect to receive the 15 year – 100% exemption on their home. WHO will not receive this abatement as per the word “Generally”?

13. Since we were never given a copy of the Consent Judgment and Order, nor a phone call back as to receive a copy, we had to access, download from the City of Lorain website, and print ourselves a copy. None of the attachments were available. Therefore, we were unable to review the complete Consent Judgment and Order. Where can the Exhibits be found as to being referred to in the Consent Judgment and Order?

February 12, 2010 at 11:34 am 1 comment


TAKING A BIT OF A BREAK FROM GRIEF AND TO THOSE THAT GIVE GRIEF – The CRA (p) is back to haunt the property owners.

We have been informed of meetings
and settlement and homeowners are invited ( click on CRA Letter ) pdf file
CRA letter

and just so you don’t have to go searching hither and yon for the
Settlement Agreement buried in the forms section of the City of Lorain website here you go


Cha ching!! you homeowners you –

Questions for the city and county will be submitted in writing , answers will be expected in writing …..Hands up those that think I will get those answers in writing ?

Well maybe I am being too cynical – we will see 🙂

February 11, 2010 at 9:02 pm Leave a comment

Two sides- one published – one denied

There is once again a manipulation of events in the media. Anyone who wishes to access information on the CRA from the beginning October 2006 will find a plethora of information documented and the history on the side bar of this blog.

Media has from time to time been used and it is by omission that readers are led down a certain path of knowledge. One that could be seen as tipping the scales in unbiased reporting.

Last week the Morning Journal ran an article with regard to the CRA

“CRA set tax savings for key figures”

The article in part mentions Don Romancak’s receiving a tax exemption on his property.

Readers of the CRA debacle will recall the first article written about the CRA program on WoM ( now defunct) and an interview with Mr. Romancak which was also used in the Cleveland Plain Dealer article on the CRA ( no longer on line) but following the same “thought process and investigative reporting” done by the Morning Journal three years later.
Mr. Romancak stated in that very first CRA interview:
“3. Addresses of applicants?
We will provide the addresses of those that have been approved and I suppose I will be able to provide those that have applied since they will eventually become public.
**Just so you know I have submitted the completed agreement and paid my fee, I do not know if mine has been approved yet. Don R.

This is not a person who tried to hide anything from the public and seemingly there was a chance ,since this application was public knowledge (through WoM) – to stop any illegal application?????.

Now back to truth and a balanced media .

Dan Given was also pilloried in the article of December 10th 2009 but the readership of the Morning Journal has been denied the “rest of the story ” and denied so far Mr. Given’s rebuttal leading their readership and those of the community in a direction that is less than accurate.

Therefore after many calls and e-mails to the Editors and Publishers of the Morning Journal by Mr. Given this blog will have to give him the space they have so far denied him.

From: Given, Dan
Subject: Complaint against your newspaper and its writings
Date: Thursday, December 10, 2009, 1:45 PM

December 10, 2009

Mr Sudbrook,
After reading your newspaper today, I am very alarmed that your employee, Ms Amanda Dolasinski, continues to paint a picture of corruption and illegalities in a controversial city program in Lorain . Creating controversy should never be the purpose of a community newspaper when a little extra effort could in fact bring ALL THE FACTS to light on a topic that has been covered over and over again for the last three years. Clarity brings the truth. Omissions bring about questions.

First let me say that CRA’s (Community Reinvestment Areas) were created by the State of Ohio , not the City of Lorain . Next, many cities have CRA districts in this state which offer similar such residential tax abatements to its residents. For starters, I would suggest you start researching with Cleveland and Cincinnati and go from there. These CRA’s are regular tools utilized by older, urban, impoverished cities to attract residents to invest, stay, and/or move into these areas. They can be used for both remodeling and new construction.

In her article, which I believe is based to discredit the two individuals mainly focused upon, it implies that I had something to do with creating this 15 year tax abatement and also creating a 100% percentage of tax abatement. This is totally false. I had nothing to do with creating the districts, the rules, or the incentives to this program. I just applied for a city run program along with 400+ other residents who also were sold a bill of goods by the City of Lorain . I must also clearly state that my application and admission were reviewed and approved by the city legal staff before anything was granted.

To recap year’s worth of information in a few short paragraphs…At the time of this introduction, I was chairman of Lorain City Council’s Federal Programs Committee. These types of legislation had to come to my committee as that is why the committee was established and the rules it is mandated to operate under. There were five people on that committee. I did not do anything alone. When the topic of Lorain ’s various CRA zones with numerous CRA rules was brought up for discussion, I was asked if I would agree that a uniform set of rules should be established for all areas of the city. I felt that was a common sense question that was easy to answer. If you have numerous zones in the city and they all are called CRA’s, why not have one set of rules for all versus 5 sets of rules, created by five different people, over 5 different periods of time. Once I said yes to that common sense statement, the former Safety Service Director sent down HIS legislation to council for us to review. This was drafted by the former administration which was led by former Mayor Craig Foltin. For those that wish to recall this fact, Mr Foltin and I rarely saw eye to eye on anything and I would bet anyone my life savings that he would not do anything to benefit me financially, politically, or personally. This is not saying anything negative about our former mayor, it is only saying that he was not thinking of Dan Given and how something would affect him. Anyone alive at that point in time should recognize that.

Next, the legislation that was sent down by that administration only stated that uniform rules would be established by all CRA zones. Remember, that sitting City Council, I included, did not create these zones, nor did we create the incentives that the homeowners would receive, nor did we create the fees or rules that would be involved. We only agreed that someone in the city should create a UNIFORM set of rules to govern by. That specific piece of legislation was unanimously approved by all 11 members of Lorain City Council. Once again, no one can claim this was done in a back room or without public input and review.

One final fact that Ms Amanda Dolasinski failed to state in her article was that I was advised legally every step of they way on this topic while I was involved with the City of Lorain . In the attached letter from the former City Law Director, it clearly states that all actions were above board and clearly reviewed by his department or himself

I would appreciate you getting all the facts out in this situation rather than just flaming the fires on a community controversy that many people are trying to resolve.

I would appreciate you reading the attached letter as well.

Daniel Given

Lorain City Councilman


The attached letter referred to by Mr. Given was one that has appeared on this blog and on Wom a number of times and one I personally had sent weeks ago to the Journal for their information , I have to wonder why this part of fair and balanced was left out ?

The Notorious Opponents of Exactitude Award has to once again be “given” ( pun intended) to the Publisher and Editors of the Morning Journal. Come on Boys and Girls let us be balanced and give those you write about their space to refute your conclusions – Isn’t that what the free press is supposedly all about?

December 13, 2009 at 7:30 pm 5 comments

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