Posts filed under ‘Criminal Offenders’

Grenade and Garbage – Lorain Landlords- SWATted?


There are a myriad of stories – times from Lorain’s nearly forgotten and neglected history, stories of love, birth, death, of pride and decay in this neighborhood known as Charleston Village .

There is the charm of architecture of her old homes and the disgrace of those homes bastardized by owners who see them as nothing more than a way to use them and abuse them until they fall in upon themselves. We have both ends of the scale here.

I have written about the mega landlords who own dozens of properties. I have written about the shame of those that neglect , the criminals and drug dealers that rent from these multi property owners.
swat 5th street

However, Friday morning at 7:00 a.m we awoke to an explosion of sound that reverberated through the morning air, the phone started ringing , neighbors hiding as the invasion (of sorts) was under way, elderly citizens confused and frightened , facebook lit up with the happenings on 5th street.

sutton 1150

This quiet street street, only marred by ” the historically bastardized” rentals of Sutton Properties and his “apartments” on one end of the block and George Schneider’s adding to his inventory on the other end, was rudely awakened to our reality once again.

1037 5th
Photos of 1037 W 5th Councilman Dennis Flores

What brought members of the Lorain County SWAT Team with guns drawn and the announcing call of a flash bang smoke grenade?

According to Chronicle Telegram coverage found here

Victor C. Brooks, 44, of 1125 W. Fifth St., Lorain, was charged with drug trafficking and was being held Friday at the Lorain City Jail. Around late August, Lorain police received a tip that Brooks, who has been charged with trafficking in the past, was selling cocaine and crack cocaine out of his house, according to Lorain narcotics Detective Tim Thompson.

Police said they conducted “controlled buys” with Thompson during which they sent an informant to buy small amounts of crack from the dealer multiple times over the course of a month. Thompson explained that multiple buys were necessary to ensure a more serious charge for Brooks.

swat5th another

However, those of us watching the scene unfold Friday felt there had to be more to this story- Unfortunately, due to “mega landlords” we have had dealings with dealers but never were the arrests quite as stuff of which movies are made.

After all according to the LPD web site

SWAT teams are used in cases of Critical Incidents :

Critical incidents are defined as follows:

Hostage Situations: the holding of any person(s) against their will by an armed or potentially armed suspect.

Barricade Situation: the stand-off created by an armed or potentially armed suspect in any location, whether fortified or not, who is refusing to comply with law enforcement demands for surrender.

Sniper Situations: the firing upon citizens and/or law enforcement officers by an armed suspect, whether stationary or mobile.

High-Risk Apprehension: the arrest or apprehension of armed or potentially armed suspects where the likelihood of armed resistance is high.

High-Risk Warrant Service: the service of search or arrest warrants where the warrant service matrix or policy recommends or requires the use of SWAT.

Personal Protection: the security of special persons, such as VIP’s, witnesses, or suspects, based on threat or potential threat to the well being of those persons.

Special Assignments: any assignment, approved by the SWAT Operations Commander, based on a high level of threat and/or need.

The Lorain County SWAT Team is committed to preserve life in high-risk situations through the use of specialized training, equipment, and tactics in a professional manner that inspires confidence in the community.

Mr. Victor Brooks( the alleged dealer- innocent until proven guilty) of 1125 West 5th, is not only an alleged “pharmaceutical” dispenser of cocaine but he seems to have used his wealth to also become a multi- property owner in Lorain- 10 addresses and 16 parcels

Victor Brooks Properties

However, the 1125 West 5th street address ( to which the tax bills are sent and where Mr. Victor Brooks resides and claims ownership to neighbors , has another owner listed a Durrell Brooks- but Mr. Victor has also purchased 1140 W 5th just two doors down from Mr. Sutton’s Rentals at 1150 West 5th.
1140 5th

Durrell Brooks

Mr. Victor Brooks has quite the residential history as whilst he was ” investing” in his properties he was also, according to his court records, residing in the properties of one or two of Lorain’s multi property owners such as
Bille S Griffith – Property- 1525 Herbert Drive and
Perrella 4638 Oberlin Ave and our

Lady of the Landlords Deborah Akin ( of North Ridgeville and their over 40 properties) who owned Mr. Brooks’s 1025 Tower Blvd address – Ms. Akin also owns property on the block- 1224 West 5th
Akin 5th

Readers remember this, I hope-

Lorain police sweep 13 violent gang members off streets – suspects tied to nine murders over four years

of another group of murderous criminals. AND there was the other SWAT Team photos only this time in front of another of Sutton’s properties

813 sutton
and of course George Schneider again who has appeared before the “Judge” only to get jail time dismissed –

The landlords who ( in my opinion) lunch at our expense and peace of mind have another comrade to share their club!

Mr. Brooks and his portfolio of investments (possibly from his “business” dealings )has joined the ranks of Lorain’s multi property owners , he paid rent to some in his time and has property on the same streets as others. .

He will make into the Lorain’s Multi-property owners hall of fame and if and when convicted WHO is WHO in the 052.

Just a note: If I was doing any investigation I would be looking at his other properties and “living addresses” you never know what may be “hidden” ;)


September 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm 6 comments

The Judgement- The Community- The Criminal- The Cost

In recent posts I have questioned the reasoning as to what we in the community , who have been asked to step up to stop the decline of the quality of life in this place we call home Lorain Ohio, can actually accomplish.


Mayor Ritenauer stated in a recent Morning Journal article”

Mayor Ritenauer wants the community to band together
Mayor Chase Ritenauer says community must stand against ‘unacceptable’ mayhem

Meanwhile, law-abiding citizens also must be aware of the justice system and demand prosecution to the fullest extent of the law, the mayor said.

and then the Editor of the same Morning Journal, Tom Skoch stated in his editorial:

“As the mayor emphasized, arresting thugs isn’t enough if they are quickly recycled through the justice system and dumped back on the street to cause more crime. Citizens need to urge prosecution and incarceration of criminals to the fullest extent of the law

toothless judgeres
Armed with a will, the time, tenacity and the ability to go in search of answers- thatwoman( me) who was also incensed at recent new news stories concerning alleged rape, drug deals gone bad , abandoned housing set off in search of “JUSTICE”!. I started looking at names and records of some of Lorain’s less than desirable criminal element and why they were on the streets, and who were the judges who had given them leave to continue “mayhem” in my community.

As with most things I research one thing led to another and I noticed a lot of
mention of PSI reports when searching the criminal records.


What is PSI and just what do they do? so off I went on another search and found the following article -once again in the Morning Journal archives-:
Judge wants to hire PSI officers (with document) by Rick Payerchin

I sent the link to the Lorain County Commissioners and asked for some information on PSI and the above link

I am following through with the research on a criminal situation in Lorain and how the criminal process works. I came across the link aforementioned – can you please tell me the outcome of that situation as written in the Morning Journal? I am very concerned as to the “passing through” from our court system by judges, adult parole authority etc and the funding of such who send back into my community the criminal element and the number of re offences …. and therefore, as I am following one case in particular that is making headlines this weekend and how he has been passed through and who determines the level of punishment – I have noticed PSI seems to be heavily involved in the sentencing outcome, therefore I wish to learn more about them and their decisions and who is funding them.

Thanks to Commissioner Kalo who forwarded my email to Mr. Tim Lubbe I have some answers ( emphasis mine) from Tim Lubbe,Lorain County Court of Common Pleas, Court Administrator, General Division


After reviewing my responses, should you still have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Some of the answers are simple, such as the outcome of the situation discussed in the Morning Journal article. Currently, there are eight Presentence Investigation (PSI) personnel that are managed by the Court. These individuals are paid for or funded out of a state grant. However, I’m not sure if that completely answers your question. For example, the headline of the article claims that the “Judges want to hire PSI officers”. Quite frankly, the Court never had any desire to be involved with PSIs. Nevertheless, the State of Ohio in balancing its budget shifted the responsibility for PSI reports to the local or county level via the Courts.

You indicate a concern about the criminal element being “passed through” the court system by Judges, the Adult Parole Authority, etc. and returned into your community. I would not offer an opinion on the Adult Parole Authority, as that is a department of the State of Ohio, and I can’t honestly speak for them. However, with respect to the Judges, I believe they share your concern about criminals “passing through” the system.

I think your next question is also related to this issue. You are interested in who determines the level of punishment. Unfortunately, there is a fairly pervasive misperception that Judges unilaterally control the outcome of criminal cases. On many occasions I have heard Judges express their frustration over the constraints imposed upon them, and in my view, these constraints do affect the revolving nature of our criminal justice system.

While Judges absolutely play an important role in sentencing a criminal defendant, over the years that role has been minimized by changes imposed upon the Court by the Ohio legislature.

Just last year, there was another significant erosion of the Judge’s autonomy following the passage of H.B. 86. The law in Ohio now specifies that if a criminal defendant is found guilty of a 4th or 5th degree felony, there is a presumption that the defendant will be sentenced to community control, i.e. not jail or prison. Therefore, irrespective of what sentence a Judge may prefer to issue, he or she must follow the law.

Your final question raises a concern, that the PSI department seems to be heavily involved in sentencing outcome. The PSI department actually has no control over sentencing. The PSI department’s role is governed by statute.

Essentially, they are required to investigate the defendant, and report certain information back to the Court. Although the PSI department does not control sentencing, they do have an impact on the criminal defendants in your community. gavel

Under Ohio law, before a defendant can be sentenced to a community control sanction, a PSI report must be produced for the Court. At the time the State of Ohio was responsible for producing PSI reports they had allocated approximately 3 times the amount of money they are currently providing to Lorain County through grants. With their resources, the State would typically produce a PSI report within 30 days. As soon as the Court received the PSI report, the defendant could be sentenced.

At a minimum, that individual would be placed upon probation and subject to review and supervision. Under limited circumstances, if certain factors where met (remember the limitations placed upon the Judges), the defendant may even be sentenced to jail. However, as a result of reduced funding, which equates to personnel, it currently takes the Lorain County PSI department somewhere between 60 and 90 days to deliver a report to the Court. While the Court is waiting for the PSI report, the defendant is in the community, not on supervised probation, and quite often committing additional crimes.

Nevertheless, I can attest that the Court continuously strives, where possible, to improve these circumstances. Also, I would encourage your involvement as a citizen in doing what you can both locally and at the state level.

So there we have it – Is it time to “talk to the State of Ohio” as to how their decisions are compromising our quality of life – is that the very least we can do???? ?

January 19, 2013 at 1:36 am 3 comments

Disconnected thoughts- COMMUNITY??? Which Community???


I am in disconnect mode – thoughts pop in and out but I have little inclination to follow through- Maybe it is the pre school “plague”- Yes! since Gavin started preschool we have all suffered. Since October 2nd we have sniffled sneezed and coughed with at least 4 different viruses. We, like typhoid Mary, continue to infect each other. Oh! you can wash your hands all you want but when the baby is using your neck to wipe his nose as the poor little stuffed up mite tries to get some sleep- forget the hand washing! As for that flu shot (Sigh) Please people keep your sick kids home- we old ones have enough problems with the “rusty” years.

Thought Two: Mayor Ritenauer wants the community to band together
Mayor Chase Ritenauer says community must stand against ‘unacceptable’ mayhem by Rick Payerchin: Morning Journal

My thoughts are good! about time – the community should band together – however what about that “OTHER MEMBERS of community” – you know such as the BUREAU OF COMMUNITY SANCTIONS-

The Bureau includes staff members located throughout the state working with halfway house vendors, independent housing vendors, non-residential community corrections act grant programs, and community-based correctional facility grant programs. The Bureaus halfway house beds to house felony offenders and provided subsidized funding to divert offenders from prison and local jails throughout Ohio. The Bureau also oversees the transitional control program and an electronic monitoring program for offenders who violate their terms of supervision.

The Bureau of Community Sanctions, in partnership with state, local and private/non-profit agencies, develops and enhances community corrections programs utilized by local courts and the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction for sanctioning and treating offenders in the community

THE multi million dollar granting facility from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation that helps the offenders… the same “Community” that helped the now defunct Compass House to help populate this area with more RSO’s than we knew or know what to do with (261 in Lorain- as per the data from the Sheriffs Dept.

How about those halfway houses for the adult parolees???? not that we don’t have parolees in our neighborhoods and community already Looks like there were 287 parolees in Lorain as per the Dept of Corrections website – And these are just the members of our “COMMUNITY” that can be tracked .

AND how about the lucrative Non Profit SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCIES- you know that part of our “business” COMMUNITY whose clients are part of our community

elephantin the room

I have said it before

and will say it again

THESE CLIENTS are in my neighborhood, they are walking my neighborhood streets they are sitting in my park and getting coffee and donuts from those that care. I have a right to complain because I LIVE here I spend 24 hours a day with the CLIENTS!

THEY too are being “serviced” by the number of social service agencies and their millions in funding .

You can talk about poor “old Joe” who isn’t all there but harmless as he wanders around the park where I LIVE and urinates in the fountain as he says good day to another neighbor whose claim to fame is
“burglary, GSI, Attempted rape, conspiracy AGG Robbery, weapons and unlawful dangerous ordinance”.


You have to wonder if this “Community ” was one of the reasons that Anthony Calabrese and Co thought it profitable for those “half way houses” business You know the now infamous “Alternatives Agency”

Could the money that could be garnered from such a “community” have led to more “inmates in the correctional facilities”?

One is a scheme to bankroll and plunder the Alternatives Agency, a nonprofit halfway house on East 55th Street represented by Calabrese.

The agency was in danger of losing its county funding when it hired Calabrese. According to the indictment, Calabrese had the agency pay $201,000 in phony consulting fees to his longtime friend, J. Kevin Kelley, who in turn bribed Dimora and Russo with trips, including a Las Vegas gambling junket, expensive meals and unspecified personal services.

Can it be???? Is it such a stretch? ( pun intended!)
YES! WE NEED ALL THE COMMUNITY TO COME TOGETHER not just those of us that live here !

To be continued………………


January 10, 2013 at 3:33 pm 2 comments

Healthy Neighborhoods???- Healthy Tenants? Moral bankruptcy

1714- Long
ED NOTE: You can see the “air conditioner ” pictured in this Morning Journal photo and if you click on to enlarge you can see the satellite dish and the cable and the trash strewn around and lo an behold the empty trash can…

There you have it if the story of Ms Perez being arrested for child endangering

for the disgusting conditions in which she caused her children to suffer daily wasn’t bad enough we have these two upstanding members of our community “allegedly” robbing the place- obviously not mindful for their own “health”

Morning Journal:
Men attempt to break in ‘filthy’ home

Chronicle Telegram

Police were dispatched to Perez’s home at 12:13 a.m. Monday when a neighbor, who knew Perez’s home was empty, reported seeing lights on at the home. The neighbor said two men stole a window air conditioner from the home and then walked out of the house and east on West 17th Street.

According to a police report, police found Emmanuel Rodriguez, 27, and Joe Hernandez, 22, both of Lorain, carrying an air conditioner and plastic laundry container holding a PlayStation 2 and a DVD player. Rodriguez told police the two had found the air conditioner, and the DVD player and PlayStation 2 belonged to Hernandez.

Now obviously these two men must have been desperate in the heat to need this air conditioner, maybe they wanted to keep cool when they played their “HOT” videos and play station.

So let us take a trip to their residences and see what is what
421 W. 15th Street

This property ( which actually has been upgraded) by the owners another “property rental group” Davis Property Rentals – Gina and Jason Davis .. you will be happy to note Mr. Sutton and Mr. Schneider some of the “26 properties listed” ( under at least one of the searches for this “group”) are also your neighbors on other streets.
You will be pleased to know you have help in determining the condition of the neighborhood…..

Hey – here is a thought maybe they can help get the air conditioner replaced- maybe they have a spare. If not try 2625 W. 39th Street- BKS Investments- Brian Schreiber
a quick check 7 under that name – (bit more upmarket than most) but the “Schreiber search turned up Marlene Schreiber ( relationship not known) with another 13- also a neighbor of yours on a couple of streets..

AH!!!! it is a wonderful day in the “neighborhood” – unless you happen to live here ………….

All information taken from Lorain County Auditors site

July 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm 26 comments

Lorain Police Department – Arrest the uncivilized destroyers of society

Yesterday a news conference was held – the headlines read:
Morning Journal

Lorain police sweep 13 violent gang members off streets – suspects tied to nine murders over four years

The men were arrested in the areas of Long Avenue, West 17th Street and North Central by the Lorain Police Department with the help of the U.S. Marshals, the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, and Lorain County deputies, Carpentiere said. Officers served secret indictments to the defendants yesterday.

The defendants have been convicted of violent crimes and the majority are out on bond. Most made their money through the sale of drugs, police said.

Chronicle Telegram
16 arrested in Lorain gang sweep

Officers in the Criminal Investigations Division, Community Impact Unit and Patrol Division used computer analysis to identify the participants of the city’s most violent crimes during the seven-month investigation. Police said most gang activity occurred on the west side of Long Avenue.

A review of the data showed that MOB had a major role in violent crime in the city, said Police Chief Cel Rivera.

The suspects, all Lorain residents, were being held Lorain County Jail late Friday. They will be arraigned next week in Lorain County Common Pleas Court

It is a start – the most influential members of the “gang” have been arrested but according to the Lorain Police Dept there are “hundreds of members”

Carpentiere said the investigation is a continuation of gang arrests the police made in 2010 of several violent individuals who were involved in M.O.B. and a south side gang. M.O.B. has hundreds of members in Lorain and the arrests focused on the leaders, according to police.

Those who have had the unfortunate experience of getting stuck in muck and mire know that as you manage to pull your foot out the impression in the mud last but for a moment , quickly the muck fills back in the indentation and it is as before the trap set for the next unsuspecting travelers who walk that way.
I am sure the police officers are under no illusion that those that slither in the muck and mire of the criminal element will soon “fill in” .

How frustrating for the police department everywhere that due to “unlimited funds” from drugs and fear these purveyors of murder and fear on our streets, can set their bond and be back out to continue the destruction of our quality of life.

I wonder who owns the homes where such scum lay their heads- because when someone rents to these cretins they are part of the problem – criminal background check, references I wonder how those ” landlord checks” turned out…. you think any were ever done. Perhaps the landlords were just pleased to be able to prostitute Lorain again – to get a return on their investment in such a bad area….. If I get a chance I will try to see if I can get the “alleged” gang bangers, murderers, drug dealers

Five fatal overdoses in 10 days have authorities worried about a batch of highly potent or poorly cut heroin.

“We want to nip this in the bud to stop people from dying,” Dr. Stephen Evans, Lorain County coroner, said Friday. “It’s either purer than normal or it’s cut with something more toxic.”

kidnappers, home invasion specialists “addresses in Lorain, then do a “property owner check” – see what that turns up. In the meantime check out the photos in the Morning Journal article linked above:

Are these YOUR tenants, recognize them from their monthly rent check- or did they pay in cash- because I am not sure they would bank their income…… Every rat needs a hole to crawl into – are you making money from this filth ? Are you responsible for the misery of murder, and drugs that cause this community to spiral downward?

We will see – I could be wrong maybe their address will be owner occupied?

In the meantime I know we, the “victims of Lorain”, will join me in giving

our sincere thank you to the Lorain Police Dept. . I am sure today’s arrests will send a message to the thugs /drug dealers/ criminals and those that believe they can inflict their diseased lifestyle on our city that this is not acceptable to those who “serve and protect” her citizens. We know your task is dangerous and sometimes thankless but we who benefit from your diligence can rest a little easier tonight-

May 5, 2012 at 3:14 pm 12 comments

Lorain, Oh- Broken Homes – Broken People- Just Plain Broke- Part Two


How did I get to this place of “shrug” ( apart from my personal situation) the “immunity” to the ADCD disease (Abandoned- Blighted -Criminal Tenants-Deteriorating properties ) had already set in.

In May of 2005 a young girl was attacked going to school- Lorain City Schools were blamed – the Lorain Police Dept were blamed by the community – but it was the community that was to blame. The school system can only protect the child whilst on their property- the police dept can really for the most part react after the crime has been committed. The problem was the neighborhood the girl had to walk through and the abandoned house ( 7 years ago) that enabled the crime.

I was angry, so Reverend Donahue- Christian Temple Disciples of Christ and Charleston Village Society put together a consortium of safety to decide what we could do . Forty people answered the call- LPD- including the Chief of Police, Sheriff’s Dept, Lorain City Schools- the superintendent , 5 of Lorain’s city council people, non-profit social service agencies, day care center representatives , business organizations , religious community representatives, members of the community and the Safety Service Director Craig Miller as well as Chief Building Superintendent Bill Desvari and a representative of the Lake Erie Landlords Association.

The Fire on 22nd street – July 2007-  the cause the building code crack down on 5 landlords ???READ ON – TELL ME YOU BE THE JUDGE……….

After three exploratory and fact-finding meetings, a goal was decided upon.
To make the concept work there had to be a total commitment to the concept- a pilot program for the taking back of a neighborhood –
It was a 5 pronged approach and needed 100 percent buy in and co-operation by the five

One – Lorain City Schools

Two- Lorain Police Dept -

Three- the Religious Community –

Four-  Social service agencies-

Five-  the Administration and Building Dept of the City of Lorain.

If one failed the concept failed. We had assurances from all involved to do their part.

A school would be at the center of the project- Lorain police Dept would have an office at the school where the neighborhood residents could get to know their officers and feel comfortable in having a dialogue as to the issues they faced.
The religious community/ community advocates and social service agencies working together to inform the residents in the target area of “help available” and finally the city administration / building dept would see to it a clean up of abandoned homes, deteriorating rentals were targeted. The concept consisted of a target area of 2 block area radiating out from the center – the school
The pilot program was picked in an area around Lincoln School- and a group or residents and representatives formed the South Lorain Coalition under the chairmanship of Father Thaden , they took ownership of the project. The community galvanized and progress was made .
BUT- Two things happened ,the most disastrous to the pilot program was
in 2007 Lorain City School’s under new administration took back Lincoln School- as it was now needed-  with little warning to the community. It was just too soon for the fledging organization to absorb.

Lincoln Community Center Director Leon Mason said he found out about the board’s intentions to terminate the lease on Friday and called the move a shock. Violent crime has drastically decreased since the center opened, and Mason said he’s worried that the board did not give him enough time to find a new location…………….The center was created by several community organizations, including the Lorain Police Department, as a way to stop violence in South Lorain, which erupted with several murders in 2005, including the shooting death of 15-year-old Samarrie Soler

BUT even before that body blow to the pilot program- the City Administration under Foltin  talked a good game to our faces , smiled and nodded shook hands but not ONE DAMNED THING WAS DONE TO ALLEVIATE THE CONDITIONS OF THE HOMES! Without the buy in and follow through commitment of all participants the pilot program was doomed to fail and it did- and with it the failure of the concept spreading the concept to other areas.

RIP- Quality of Life- Lorain- Ohio

After many years of dealing with the “head nodders  – crossed fingers behind their backs type “ the lack of follow through the ” just a storm in a teacup thinking- it will blow over just smile and nod yes” you build up an immunity. I am not alone………..

During the research for this post I came across
Dispatches from Home by Nick Kowalczyk -lives in upstate New York by way of Ohio, Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa. He teaches creative nonfiction and feature writing at Ithaca College.

Photo Source – The Ithacan

I had a childhood marred by bullying, but I gained confidence when I became a journalist because it made me feel like an advocate for truth, justice, and good government. In college it’s all I thought about, and I worked hard enough to be named one of the top ten journalism students in the country, by the Scripps Howard Foundation, in 2001. And my career began in Lorain………

………..Hired by The Morning Journal’s competitor, The (Elyria, Ohio) Chronicle-Telegram, I received, as a lowly summer intern, the Lorain city beat. I covered the city council, read the daily police blotters, watched the municipal court hearings for DUIs and prostitution and domestic violence arrests, and regularly talked with the mayor. It was a depressing, disillusioning job for a hometown kid. Every day I discovered a new reason to move away. Every day it seemed evident that Lorain would fall apart. Sometimes as I drove back to the newsroom I even imagined the earth opening and Lorain falling into the crack, absorbed by flames and hell. (Melodramatic, I know…). But even more melodramatic—and self-fulfilling—was my fear that somehow Lorain, like a vortex, would absorb me back.
…………What is a homecoming if not an opportunity to reenact the past? I can’t remember the dates exactly, but a few years after I moved away I came home and realized most of my family’s old haunts no longer existed. These places included my high school, my old grade school, my parents’ grade school, the YMCA, our favorite downtown donut shop, the restaurant where we ate breakfast every Sunday, my father’s favorite hardware store, the hospital where my mother worked, and the church where my grandparents and parents were married. To look at these places now brings an echoing feeling of emptiness in my chest, along with sentimental indignance. Coming back to Lorain is like wandering around a forest of dead trees in winter.

Photo Source
How sad this talented young man does not have “pride” in his hometown. But why should he write about the GOOD and GREAT things in Lorain? There are great and good things but like a disease unchecked – slowly spreads and destroys the good - The disease – the deteriorating infrastructure/ houses/ those that prostitute her for their own needs have set her on a decline and we are mainly “bandaiding”.

June 26th 2005 The Chronicle Telegram ran an article – BROKEN HOMES-  by Dan Harkins and Shawn Foucher  that article touched a nerve then and still does- because very little has changed but the numbers in those 7 years. Unfortunately the article is not on-line but you can access the Word Document here -BROKEN HOMES

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.

As I said not a lot has happened since that report from the state auditors in 2004 – except the numbers change

The number of vacant homes in Lorain has gone up 70 percent over the last 30 years.
1970: 1,044 homes
1980: 1,579 homes
1990: 1,252 homes
2000: 1,745 homes

** approximately 2,000 in 2005 however from the 2010 census report

3615 – vacant
1642 vacant for rent
57 rented but not occupied
557 for sale
159 sold but not occupied
83 for occasional use/ temp housing
1,110 – all other vacant – abandoned

The solution in my humble opinion- SOMEONE HAS TO TAKE CHARGE AND BE THE BOSS-
- no waffling about only a few months in office- we have had that pronouncement with every new administration- not acceptable -the Building Dept and the codes have been there through all administrations- a Mayor / Administration (new or not) doesn’t tell the Fire Chief/ Police Chief etc. how to do his job when they take over – all our new mayor has to do is tell the Building Dept- ENFORCE THE CODES IT WOULD BE MUSIC TO OUR EARS!!!!

The other part of the solution is stop the baby slap punishment being handed out by Lorain Municipal Court and the prosecutors for property maintenance . The 5 Landlords mentioned in part one only one received any “punishment” a $250.00 fine( fine of $1,000- $750.00 suspended) as well as the 30 day jail sentence (suspended) and court coss. The rest had their cases dismissed ( even though the plea was no contest for most) . THE LAW IS NOT TOOTHLESS-  Time to bring the gavel down hard!!!!

Common sense, if nothing else, tells you – that garbage housing/ garbage neighborhoods brings more garbage and vermin – four-legged and two-legged kind. The reason we in Lorain, have an influx and saturated solution of Registered Sex offenders, career criminals and those on parole is because ” they can easily assimilate into our neighborhoods” and the social service agencies are here for THEIR CLIENTS – for which they get a lot of money for their paid “Directors and staff”-

As long as Lorain is perceived as being a haven for the criminal element- sub- standard housing and whilst rental and social service agencies are the main business attractions no little clean up or tattoo artwork on Broadway will help stop the rot ( bandaids at best). The core issues have to be addressed and soon and it can start with code enforcement and a tough stance.

I would draw your attention to what Lakewood (just 20 miles down the road) considers a “troublesome home” ( Channel 5 news April 30th

Time for our local government and elected officials to stop paying lip service and cuddling up “to the money in the campaign pot supporters” ( as did Landlord Foltin
apparently) or in another 7 years someone else will write of the Lorain that was and is now and the numbers will tell the tale-those that left-those that died- those that cry – the names will change but the story will stay the same ……..

May 1, 2012 at 5:08 pm 32 comments

Lorain, OH- Broken Homes- and Broken People-just plain broke

WHO IS THE BOSS?????????? WHERE IS THE BOSS???? Part One

ED NOTE: Since I started writing this morning and documenting the events of this subject, I realized this is just too long for one post- even by my standards- so it will be continued with part two in twenty-four hours after publishing.

There was an article in the Sunday Morning Journal this day of the 29th of April- 2012 12-year-old attempts to rob woman with revolver

“We’ve lived in that house for 14 years and I’ve never had someone pull a gun on me — and I hope it never happens again.”

The experience seemed unreal, she said. It highlighted the decline of her neighborhood, which once featured middle-class families of all ethnicities often enjoying outdoor barbeques and parties. Now many of the houses sit empty, the grass growing uncontrolled.

“It was a nice neighborhood,” she said. “Not anymore. It’s gotten bad.”

a few days prior- April 10th 2012
Lorain man found dead in vacant duplex
His death-bed only noted by a runaway cat-

If it wasn’t for Cassandra James’ cat, police wouldn’t have discovered a man dead in a second-floor bedroom of a cluttered, vacant duplex at 1629-1631 E. 31st.

James, who lives next door, said her cat went through the basement window of the duplex. She called police to help her get her cat and found the back door was unlocked.

The man, thought to have died sometime last year, was found in the bedroom of a home that neighbors thought was abandoned

Where is the outrage, where is the rallying of community , where are the “candlelight vigils” for the death of quality of life in this city.

As I read these stories and sent out through Charleston Village’s Crime Watch heads up – information OF YET ANOTHER REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER WITH ON THE SIDE EMPLOYMENT OF DEALING DRUGS this week I realized I am no longer shocked at these stories.

I am becoming immune to the ABCD disease plaguing my neighborhood ( Abandoned- Blighted -Criminal Tenants-Deteriorating properties ) .

I can see two derelict homes from my window as I type and other homes are deteriorating at a steady pace. As for the guy walking up the street – well he can be found on the Sheriff’s site .

My icon “empty” home of nearly FOUR DECADES still stands – the windows truly defining the term “OPEN HOUSE HERE!!!” Oh! I have been told there are liens- there are legal issues by Howard Goldberg of Community Development .
How did this house ( built for a bride over a hundred years ago ) get to this latest legal entanglement and of course the excuse “WE CAN”T DO ANYTHING UNTIL……. possibly another 40 years???

I can tell you what has happened for want of a nail- the battle was lost!

It goes back to the first Administration and Building Dept. who did NOT ENFORCE CODES-
this house was in a state of disrepair in the EARLY 1970″s – the buck was passed and NEVER STOPPED!

That is what has been happening for decades- Don’t believe me???? – in 1994 Charleston Village Society put out a newsletter with the headline
FOR RENT – ONE CITY- LORAIN – we could see the way things were going even back then.
Our figures from Hud were “poo hooed” – the city didn’t count rentals the way we did

Example- if house address 1111 on “Dream on Drive” is listed as a rental – it was counted as a rental therefore count is “one rental property”

However, the house may have been made into 5 rental units so the count for rentals should be 5 rental units- you would think but no! can’t have those stats- they would look too bad . Then you have the illegal rental units grandfathered in over the years …….

This is how we got here and there has been “LIP SERVICE” paid over the years to the voter and taxpayer
One Mayor, Joseph Kozuira, did make an effort to “crack down”- “
city’s Building Department has cracked down on housing code violations in neighborhoods
Chronicle Telegram-August 30th 1998 – Blighted-

However Joe Kozuira lost his bid for re-election and Mayor Foltin 2000 once again was on the Lip Service Platform for Enforcement of Building Codes- telling the punters what they want to hear- because nothing happened to enforce building codes:

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.
“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- Source Broken Homes article Chronicle Telegram July 2006


A city employeee whose job takes him into homes throughout Lorain faces numerous felony charges, NewsChannel 5′s Paul Kiska reported.
Olmstead Falls police arrested, Edwin Heyduk Jr., 47, a building inspector, and a 17-year-old family member on several drug charges last week

Under an ordinance passed under the Kozuira Administration some effort was made for “clean -up” at the end of 2007 -

Five Lorain landlords face charges

………But they are the first to face criminal charges under the law, which was adopted by the city in 1997. The law requires landlords to have the exterior and interior of a home inspected before a rental certificate will be issued………….
…………The five landlords own a total of 15 rental properties, a small percentage of the more than 10,000 rental properties in Lorain, most of which Provenza believes are not legally qualified to have tenants………………A July 3 fire at a West 22nd Street rental home triggered the renewed focus on rental property enforcement when fire crews discovered no working smoke detectors in the home. The fire left a single mother and her five children homeless.

photo source Morning Journal

You may have also read in past days about the Lorain’s previous Building Inspector under Mayor Craig Foltin – William Desvari whose “lack of obeying laws” has led him into any number of legal issues lately – you know the one who got his degree on-line from Ireland-


Desvari said the master’s degree included on the resume he gave to the city when he applied for the job was received from a correspondence course in 1979 that cost him $800. The degree was awarded by a nonaccredited university, Shelbourne University in Dublin, Ireland, he said. [...]

”The degree cost me $800, and it probably was a mistake to keep it on my resume,” Desvari said. ”I’m probably $800 less richer for having it. I was a lot less wiser at age 27 than I am at 53.”

YOU WOULD BE WRONG BILL!! seems you carried on carrying on and wisdom didn’t come with age! -

Desvari pleaded guilty to a federal charge of theft of government property for stealing $196,992 for cashing the Social Security checks of his deceased great aunt between 1995 and 2010. He is awaiting sentencing in the case.

Lorain’s chief building official arrested Friday on bribery charges

Former Lorain building official William Desvari indicted on additional tampering and theft charges

But “FRIENDLY ( to some) FOLTIN according to Buckeye State Blog August 30th-2006 – continued to stand by his man

William Desvari: Since being hired by Foltin in 2003, Chief Building Inspector William Desvari has lied about having a master’s degree, hid past felony convictions for theft and forgery, and encouraged the hiring of a registered sex offender. To make matters worse, recently it has been reported in the Lorain Morning Journal that Desvari hired a second sex offender, owns a private business despite Lorain ordinances which bar him from doing so, and has unfairly targeted the home of a Lorain councilman for housing code violations. Yet even with this list of deceit and mistakes and a mounting demand from local media, Foltin has yet to ask for Desvari’s resignation. [Lorain Morning Journal, 07/28/2006; 07/21/06; 7/26/05; 10/3/03]



Photo Source Chronicle Telegram

On January 2nd 2008 the Morning Journal ran the article – There’s a New Mayor In Town (Tony Krasienko) and what did he have to say?

During your time on council, you were extremely critical of the city’s Building Department and Chief Building Official William Desvari. Will your administration try to replace him?

KRASIENKO: We’re going to make sure that the building department is going to be user-friendly, they enforce the laws and that they are going to be held accountable. And any employee that can buy into that mission statement is more than welcome to stay. Anybody that can’t live with that, maybe they should look elsewhere.

But it’s an important department for this city. You’ve got significant housing issues and you need to significantly change customer service in the city of Lorain.

And yet Chase Ritenauer was able to use the deteriorating and deteriorated conditions of Lorain’s housing to defeat Tony Krasienko in the primary election


April 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm 9 comments

This Is London and the rest! Next ????

Photos Bruce Adams - Daily Mail-

For the past few days I have monitored what has happened on the streets of London and in other large cities . I have seen the excuses , I have seen the trying to fathom- I have seen the politically correct- non responsive attitude of the powers that be and I have seen the effects of “yobbery” on the streets where I used to live!

Why didn’t the police in England come down harder in the initial outbreaks? – policing by consent being the rule of the day

The development of the British police has involved a continual public debate about how to protect democratic liberties while maintaining effectiveness against crime and disorder..

Can you imagine the shock and horror of a policeman dressed in his/her riot gear and the fresh face punk stealing that bottle of vodka – this poor little 10-year-old “cherub” grimacing into the camera because he was injured by the authorities – the photo would be flashed around the world ah the hue and cry and possibly causing more unrest. The police forces there and this country are in a very difficult situation!

The thing is “these yobos” KNOW this and are using it – the cries –

you can’t touch me- you are useless- nothing is going to happen to me- we are in control -

taunt with a truth !

So why does this affect us here in Lorain? In my opinion lack of accountability and victimology thinking is also prevalent in this little corner of the world- thankfully not to the extent in London.

However the reasoning, the problems, and lack of accountability is the same but magnified by numbers involved in cities such as London , Manchester etc. It is the “numbers” that overwhelm the residents of those cities but just because we are fewer in population here doesn’t mean we should not be worried – the root cause is there and here !

Photo Source BBC- Riot photos read this morning a commentary by Max Hastings
The feral children, don’t stay 8,9, 10 year olds for long, grow up quickly and in some cases are “having babies ” (to prove their manhood in the young teenage years), they get bigger and stronger and find like minded groups, they are a phenomenon not just in Britain but here in the USA as well.

I would suggest reading the article in full, however here are some highlights:

A few weeks after the U.S. city of Detroit was ravaged by 1967 race riots in which 43 people died, I was shown around the wrecked areas by a black reporter named Joe Strickland.
He said: ‘Don’t you believe all that stuff people here are giving media folk about how sorry they are about what happened. When they talk to each other, they say: “It was a great fire, man!” 
I am sure that is what many of the young rioters, black and white, who have burned and looted in England through the past few shocking nights think today….

Photo Source Daily Mail

But it will not do for a moment to claim the rioters’ behaviour reflects deprived circumstances or police persecution.

Of course it is true that few have jobs, learn anything useful at school, live in decent homes, eat meals at regular hours or feel loyalty to anything beyond their local gang.
This is not, however, because they are victims of mistreatment or neglect.

It is because it is fantastically hard to help such people, young or old, without imposing a measure of compulsion which modern society finds unacceptable. These kids are what they are because nobody makes them be anything different or better.

A key factor in delinquency is lack of effective sanctions to deter it. From an early stage, feral children discover that they can bully fellow pupils at school, shout abuse at people in the streets, urinate outside pubs, hurl litter from car windows, play car radios at deafening volumes, and, indeed, commit casual assaults with only a negligible prospect of facing rebuke, far less retribution.

Source not found

Fire over England fueled by lack of accountability

August 10, 2011 at 4:53 pm 6 comments

Kicking Off in England! Kick them back- hard

London Riots

Worrying, as I receive emails from family and friends who are watching as their streets and neighborhoods are filled with violence and fire that is spreading by the “YOBS” because that is what they are this “gansta” subculture that has infected England .

Photo source BBC

These “barbarians at the gate” have done more damage than of the “bricks and mortar” kind.

The rioters appeared to have little unifying cause — though some claimed to oppose sharp government spending cuts, which will slash welfare payments and cut tens of thousands of public sector jobs through 2015.

But many were attracted simply by the opportunity for violence. “Come join the fun!” shouted one youth in the east London suburb of Hackney, where shops were attacked and cars torched.

Areas such as Brixton, Tottenham in London had deteriorated, due to quite frankly life styles that most would find unacceptable, were making a come back the “community ” and the leaders in those areas were getting their community back, new shops, businesses were making a difference .

As I took the train from Victoria to Beckenham ( where we stay when visiting ) I would feel very uncomfortable just stopping at Brixton – always a bit of a no go area-
Brixton – then and now

However, I had noticed on my last two trips ( a couple of years apart ) as I looked out onto the community from the train window there was a notable rebirth happening. The station platform with silent bronze statues reflected the culture and artistry rather than the graffiti and garbage of other days. The market place looked inviting.

But it has only taken a couple of nights of pillaging , burning , running amok, destroying not only the restaurants, but businesses employing the people of their community , businesses owned by people of the community to erase all the hard work.

It is a loss of property, confidence in community leaders but also of respect and there will be great difficulty to get investors back into that community. They have fouled with their filth their own .

Now these low-lifes – the age group of 14-25- in their hoodies a majority of whom are “not working” – are spreading their filthy behaviour across the country through social networks and blackberry and finding like-minded “gangstas” who live for their moment -have done more damage to their community than they even imagined.

This is the shocking moment a young man seems to hand over his clothes to thieves after apparently being ordered to strip naked. Internet rumours last night claimed that on top of the widespread destruction across London and Birmingham, people were having their clothes removed by looters as police attempted to contain the criminality. Elsewhere a boy is shown being apparently assisted by a group of youths – who then rob him as they help him to his feet.

And to those that instigate should go the fiercest punishment one that matches the “damage that has been done to a nation by the actions of a few . No more of this molly coddling , counseling , oh the poor deprived children clap trap. Time to take a tough stand – The molly coddling isn’t working England – these are criminals, looters, arsonists and anarchists therefore they should be treated as such.

Bending over backwards means you end up flat on your back- Time to step up and come down -hard. Community leaders need to start leading and take back their community and let the population know their homes and businesses are worth something to them.

England , no matter how inviting the Olympic appeal,you will find the global community will think twice about the treading the “Streets of London”

Have you seen the old man
In the closed down market
Kicking up the papers,
with his worn out shoes?
In his eyes you see no pride
AND held loosely AT his side
Yesterday’s paper telling yesterday’s news

Chorus: So how can you tell me you’re lonely,
and say for you that the sun don’t shine,
Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London
I’ll show you something to make you change your mind.

Have you seen the old girl
Who walks the streets of London
Dirt in her hair and her clothes in rags
She’s no time for talking
she just keeps right on walking
Carrying her home in two carrier bags.


In the all night cafe
At a quarter past eleven,
Same old man sitting there on his own
Looking at the world
Over the rim of his tea-cup,
each tea lasts an hour,
And he wanders home alone


Have you seen the old man
Outside the Seamen’s Mission
Memory fading with the medal ribbons that he wears
In our winter city
The rain cries a little pity
For one more forgotten hero
And a world that doesn’t care

August 9, 2011 at 1:04 pm 42 comments

Smith / Allen- Chronicle Telegram Tape / Series and Archives

“An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.” Samuel Johnson

The Chronicle Telegram has the video tape of the line-up and the archives on their site

February 26, 2011 at 2:24 pm 2 comments

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