Posts filed under ‘Open for Discussion’

Study + Plan = money = blah blah = Lorain= ?


I will admit to being pretty naïve as to how government worked and the tools( aka “study/s”) needed by the City of Lorain. In the early 90’s. Charleston Village Society was pretty new as a 501C3 back then. You see CVSI did it backwards we became a neighborhood organization without anyone’s help or dollars. We did the ground work ourselves , tried to make a difference.

We were ridiculed (as the village idiots) and yes even Community Development for the City of Lorain tried thwarting us at every turn – “the middle class clique “ their term -Chuck Urindrisky and Sandy Prudoff possibly concerned about their ” HUD cash cow” . We became an organization over which Community Development had no control – we were the loose cannon.

artwork Chris Ritchey

artwork Chris Ritchey

Finally, we were recognized and our input was required. We were asked to attend a series of meeting with the “movers and shakers” ( I kid you not that was the term used) at the then Lorain High School on 6th.

We were , Rich Robbin and I, excited- maybe something would finally get going in this old neighborhood and Lorain.

We printed out our newsletter, at the time, with the facts and figures from government sources and handed out the newsletter to the movers and shakers – with the headline of 20 odd years ago FOR RENT ONE CITY – LORAIN. Our figures showed Lorain heading from an owner occupied city to 60 percent rental. Not much has changed over the ensuing decades except the “quality” of the rental market took a downward dive in the older neighborhoods(in my opinion) .

Back to our naivety . We duly attended the meetings , the flip charts , touting Lorain’s assets – the Palace , the Lake, the people , the parks , organizations, business opportunities, history etc. After the third such meeting back in the early 90’s I dared ask –

So what happens to this Plan and when do we start implementation?

Oh well we have the facilitator gather all our recommendations, ideas and issues they will make a report and take it to the Mayor’s Office and Community Development for them to find a way forward.

Oh so we won’t be actually “doing anything ” just telling he powers that be what we think- we won’t be implementing anything?????

No! this will just help determine the city’s way forward……….

Source Dave Brown
of the Independent

A way forward???? that very term has haunted me and made me nauseous ever since. I don’t know what happened to the “PLAN” from the 90’s and then again the “Visioning Plans of the rest of the decades that we still kept attending. I have the county plan from 1991 ) Vision 20/20 ( total misnomer in my opinion)

We did attend the “plan for the port” and yes! in fact that was one of the very few “plans that have seen implementation in the past 15 years- but one has to wonder if that would’ve succeeded if the Lorain Port Authority had not been accountable directly to the Lorain taxpayer for operating revenue through levies etc.

idearesSo after so many plans, way forward , comprehensive studies used for tools in the box and many, many thousands of dollars later

I attended, on behalf of Charleston Village Society the “Big Idea ” session held at the Lorain Port Authority conference room. This latest study and its outcome apparently will focus on the “zoning ” requirements for this city and determine future zoning/planning based upon the study results . You can find the project schedule the time line – meetings etc. here

Click to access lorain_project-schedule.pdf

There were representatives from a few organizations at the table for this session with Senior Planner Justin Robbins AICP
there were the obligatory flip charts , not much has changed there and it was the “Opportunities ” Page that took me from

Oh well we were asked I will go and listen once more as we go through the motions to help with tools in the box

to the old curmudgeon !

As the people around the table, only one of whom I have ever seen attend any of these previous decades of “plans”, told of the strengths and the opportunities……. I was transported BACKKKKKKKKKKKK to a time of long ago and a plan far away…

OK! I admit all my good intentions of say nothing went west as I looked at the same “opportunities” being written down on yet another flip chart. The same damned things that were written down in the first planning / study strategy I attended those many years ago.
So I forgot my good intentions and said my say ( on the negative side ). Apparently after 20 odd years of Visions and Plans the positives remained the same so not much to ADD there .
I had my say about Lorain’s largest business – the Rental Business

( As a real estate agent and landlord painted a more than rosy scenario” and Yes there is a lucrative business in Lorain!
10 MILLION 800 THOUSAND A YEAR or 900,000 A MONTH coming from the voucher program alone into the coffers of the landlords , a majority of whom live outside Lorain.
I am sure those stats haven’t decreased probably increased since the post

FROM 1991…..
federal bucks

“Right now ( 1991) you’re giving Lorain away a house at a time , a piece at a time and no one seems to care”

Ward Two the ward that has the Lake, the opportunities for development, itself glutted, decaying and home to even in worst shape now than when the “movers and shakers” held that round table at the Lorain High School cafeteria.( also gone and re planned)

One thing did change the plus side held Lorain City Schools but although the buildings are newer they now find they are in the negative. Back in the time that Lorain forgot ( along with her tangible history) Lorain Schools held many studies and discussions on their way forward – attended more than one – Ironically the last one I wrote about
5 Years ago the Goals for Lorain City Schools coming from plan

1) Goal 1: By the end of the 2011-12 school year, 78% of all students will meet or exceed proficient level on the OAT and 90% on the OGT in the area of reading.
2) Goal 2: By the end of the 2011-12 school year, 78% of all students will meet or exceed proficient level on the OAT and 90% on the OGT in the area of mathematics.
3) Goal 3: By the end of the 2011-12 school year, the Lorain City School district will meet or exceed state minimum attendance standard of 93%.
4) Close the socioeconomic, ethnic and gender gaps in student achievement
5) Adult Basic and Literacy Education and EL/Civics
6) Expand college preparation course offering at the high school level
7) Career-Technical Education
8. FY 2010 Increase student achievement (Reading/Language Arts, mathematics, and science)
– Improving Teacher Quality, Title II-A

THE OUTCOME 2016 Sept.


We could say no more studies , no more plans but these are part of the government hoops and showing the money boys of government – a way forward and community buy in. I suppose it would be cheating to just update the old studies and plans???

Oh and that Lake it also has to go on the negative and plus ( which cancels it out somewhat) because 1/3 of the area that would normally draw in business is water and that water is usually frozen for 5-6 months of the year and rough for a least a couple of months as well – there goes your “boat” people .
Entertainment District/ Downtown and maybe see the area jumping on weekends for 3 months or so BUT will not support a thriving downtown area or gentrify the neighborhood in order to have foot traffic. It has to be part of a much “bigger idea” and I am not sure I have seen that yet….

So this latest “input from the public” is How do we want our community Zoned ?
Updating Lorain’s Zoning/Planning:
An Entertainment zone?( year round???)
Zoned Historical ( better get on that fast we have very little historical bricks and mortar left)-
Residential ( up market zone)( down market)
Recreational Zone – lawn parking of Rv’s
Light Industrial – street parking of construction vehicles ( note these can be grandfathered in as it happens every day)
Heavy Industrial – and so on and so forth……..

Yes that is what I would like an equality/ accountability and no rolled roof Zone – where everyone has to follow the ordinances we already have! With “Zone inspections rather than complaint driven ”

But for right now……. I am completely ZONED OUT

September 20, 2016 at 12:01 pm 4 comments

An open post to City of Lorain- The History of Frustration

meThis post actually started out as an email to City Council members but like the housing situation we find ourselves in and lack of accountability it too became too much and unwieldy- no one was going to read through it.

Photo Source – City of Lorain
There are any number of reasons Lorain finds itself in the housing position we are in today:
Joe Koziura
Mayor Koziura 1996-2000( now Council at Large) tried, along with then Building Inspector Mr. Murphy, to reign in the deteriorating homes and buildings in Lorain and lawyers 😉
housing court

This did not sit well with the mega landlords ( at the time ) and they supported Craig Foltin for Mayor .
craig foltinand friends
There was , imho, a let us appease those who are “squeaking” the wheel in 2005 – see article Broken Homes from the Chronicle – when a number of us went before Mayor Foltin and Mr. Desvari stating the deteriorating neighborhoods.

brokehomes which “chronicles” the situation. I re – chronicled the issues in May 2012.
The then Building Inspector Bill Desvari , himself on charges before he died , gave token action to the problems .

Desvari’s most recent legal problems began in 2008 when Lorain police launched an investigation into his dealings as head of the city’s Building Department.

He was placed on leave in February 2008 as police probed complaints about problems with homes in the King’s Woods subdivision. That investigation expanded to include allegations that Desvari allowed an unlicensed cement contractor to operate in the city in exchange for the contractor doing work on Desvari’s Columbia Township home.

Desvari was indicted in July 2008 on charges dealing with the contractor and allegations that he failed to complete inspections and require permits on homes in New Century Village.

Another round of charges were brought in 2010 against Desvari that centered on two $5,000 loans Desvari received from men his attorney has described as friends. Prosecutors contend the loans were actually bribes.

We then had the Sub Prime Mortgage Crisis 2008 , for Lorain and “property procurers ” this gave them a huge “feeding frenzy” with very little controls from local government.

citylorain feeds

You have anecdotal situations brought before the media and City Council – the sound bites of frustration. We have had council people literally venting their frustration at meetings. AND although everyone seems to be on the same page with “doing something to stop the rot and turn around the older neighborhoods” for the most part hands are tied

The situation , imho, has become laughable , when even a junk car next to a church and in a neighborhood becomes “Where’s Waldo” ( the trashed car) How many weeks did this take only to have it moved to another junked property around the corner so to speak ?

The Art Car

The Art Car

We have any number of people “playing the system” ( judicial)the cost of doing business a mere fine and not having to abate issues.

There are so many of these situations , they are too many to document The whole system is broken because of a lack of respect, ( which can’t be legislated), lack of accountability ( which is not accounting for much) , a city with a declining job market and one of the biggest businesses in town – the rental business making profits don’t take my word for it Kent Sutton one of Lorain’s mega landlords and LELA members was quoted affirming the fact :

“We simply assure housing providers that they{LELA MEMBERS} are running a business not like any other business,” Sutton said. “The housing should be kept up to some condition of the neighborhood.”

The frustration of City Council Members , The Administration, ( and yes the Judicial, hamstrung by ineffective fines , time lines and legal lalala speak is clear – the frustration is spilling over in the neighborhoods and City Council floor as there does not seem to be a simple fix.

We have tweaking of our ordinances so that lawn mowers ( as seen from space) does not become an everyday occurrence because there was loophole in an ordinance that brought this one iconic situation before housing court for the past FIVE YEARS. .
3200 jaeger road

The cry is we need jobs!!!! Let us look at that

When a Corporation/employer looks at a community in which to relocate they look at Infrastructure, School system, housing etc.


What is the answer to our tale of woe……. well here is a clue :

that they- [ ED. NOTElandlords/ mega property owners} are running a business not like any other business………………………….


May 24, 2016 at 1:45 pm Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

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

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


Paul Nishanian
Real Estate Assistant Chief Deputy Auditor

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

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

When Point of Sale was introduced January 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tax Bill Mailed to: KAJA HOLDINGS 2 LLC

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

329 Hamilton

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

A rose by another other – stinks!!!

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

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

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

Judy Nedwick
Lorain County Recorder

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

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

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

Heather Graves
City of Lorain

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

For example according to Zillow 1348 West Erie

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

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


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

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

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

July 24, 2015 at 3:56 pm 12 comments

Humira -auto-immune medicatons check the box

selfportrait- Chris Ritchey

selfportrait- Chris Ritchey

ED Note
Every single day this blog receives searches looking for answers and information on Humira and other auto- immune medications. The information on this blog has been garnered not from the medical community, the drug sales force, the commercials but from the mothers of those who are the faces of the “black box warning” .

– No one wants another mother to share their pain. Graciously in the midst of their own suffering they have answered emails sent through this blog and elsewhere to advise from their own personal experience- the following is one such response to those that search.

You are right to look for information about Humira, and any other kind of powerful auto-immune medication–and there are several on the market today of similar biological make-up. In addition, there are other drugs that are frequently prescribed in combination with these auto-immune drugs (a protocol called recombinent drug therapy) which when taken together, can have additional serious (deadly) adverse side effects. All of these meds are/can be very, very dangerous, but every situation and individual is different.

If you are concerned, it will be entirely up to you and/or your family to do the appropriate research before you make a decision one way or another to take these kinds of medications.

Please, DO NOT waste your time contacting the sales reps for the drug company. They do not know, and WILL NOT tell you anything even if they do. They are not research scientists, doctors, or experts in anything except how to sell a product and make a commission.

Unfortunately, it is probable that your doctor will not know much more since they, too, purchase the meds from these same salespeople. Nor can you assume or expect a pharmacist to know any more about the dangers of these drugs than what is included in the package insert they dispense. The bottom line is no one can give you information unless it has first been provided by the drug companies and this is precisely why we are in such trouble.

dollars for docs
I strongly suggest that you do as much research as possible about any auto-immune medication being prescribed for whatever your particular condition might be. Humira and other similar medications can be, and are used safely by thousands of people, but not everyone.

You may be fine with this medication, but it would probably still be a good idea to

1. find another one or two doctors for second or third opinions.

2. Ask as many questions as you can about length of treatment and expected outcome.

3.You should also go online to the FDA website for information about Humira (and other auto-immune drugs) and look for material specifically regarding adverse events. You need definitely to do this, if you do nothing else.

Any information about dangerous side effects for these drugs will be listed there. You will not be able to get this information in any format that is intelligible, providing you can even find it, on the label.
Canda FDA
It is interesting to note as well, that Canada’s equivalent of the FDA is often years ahead of the U.S. in terms of issuing safety warnings for a variety of drugs that are freely prescribed in this country without a second thought. I would suggest that anyone with concerns check Canada’s governmental health website.
Also, here are two excellent websites.

Do a thorough search of your condition and its drug treatment in the professional medical journals. I cannot stress this enough. This means you will need the help of a librarian, possibly at a University, school, or hospital who will have electronic access to a wide range of peer-reviewed serials and/or medical databases that you will not be able to find online on your own. This is important because a lot of what you can locate through a Google Search will not include the kind of information you will find in peer-reviewed medical journals—which are ONLY available at a medical (hospital) or university library. And it is this specific information you want.

Finally, don’t take any one doctor’s word on the safety profile for this (or any, drug). You need to gather as much information as possible on your own so you can present your concerns up front.
calm and research

The important thing is not to panic. Do your homework and don’t rush into anything before you feel as comfortable as possible with your decision. Our sorrow is a result of not being fully informed (warned) in advance of the dangers associated with these meds–because the information was not made available either to the general public or prescribing physicians until years after my boy died.

The bottom line really is ask questions about everything, do your research and if you feel uncomfortable with any kind of vague response…be cautious. Ultimately, you will have to make a decision, but an informed decision is absolutely necessary.

Consider all possibilities, including NOT taking a drug and what that might mean for you as well. Sometimes, horrible things happen regardless of how much you know and the most carefully considered decision. Sometimes, all that we can do, and have done, is not enough. Sometimes, there is no other choice–taking a particular medication is the lesser of two evils (disease vs. treatment). But, there is everything to be gained by being fully informed about ALL possibilities/options before you put yourself or a loved one at risk.

May 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm 2 comments

Who is Who in the 052- New Blog


Will the information make a difference? Will the 44052 be better off for the information- I have my doubts.

On my way to the meeting for the Admiral King Elementary playground destruction and more “poor ” quality of life issues

I received yet another Registered Sex Offender notification in our neighborhood. He now dwells right across the street from the Admiral King Tribute Site.

As is my want, I drove past the Admiral King Tribute site on my way home to check out the area, make sure the lights were working, the plants needing water, any issues etc.

This site that took so much organization, community, donations, a place for people to come, sit awhile and ponder, young lives lost for their country , history, the lake, the port, a place I hoped of honor and serenity, a rebirth of community!
anchor blue mulch
So imagine my bile to the throat reaction when, as I drove past the anchor and sitting on the front steps I saw this particular pedophile ( as per his record) enjoying a can of beer , watching the kids playing in the neighborhood , benefitting from the peace and tranquility of a late spring evening, the warm breeze. Maybe I am being unreasonable but I did not expend what little time and energy left to me for HIS and HIS ILK’s benefit.

Of course, giving him the benefit of the doubt ,

maybe he was returning to the family home from his incarceration

NO! another rental with the owner living elsewhere in this case North Ridgeville!

I found myself more than a little irritated that once again a multi- unit out of town landlord was determining the quality of life in this old neighborhood.

For Rent One City- Who dictates the health of your neighborhood? “


And so, the birth of a blog- Who is Who in the 052?

1. Every Wednesday I will be going through the alphabet of RSO’s starting with A- and those on parole in this neighborhood of 44052.

2. I will put up their information and if they rent the property owners information and also the crime statics for that week as well as links to those agencies.

NOTE: ALL information is already public record and available to those who wish to access the various sites. I am just putting the information in one place. JUST the FACTS

However after I get through the 139 and counting RSO’s in he 44052 and 90 of those on Adult Parole I may take a look at the “charities” their finances , and the who is who and who gets paid what!

So here is the link to the Who is Who in the 052
and it can also be found on this blog’s blog roll side bar

June 12, 2013 at 1:29 am 9 comments

The BE all and END all of BASKETBALL


I am not a fan of “basketball” although I have written about it and its “king”

I was first introduced to the game by its sound, as a neighbor’s son got his hoop on the garage. All evening long even after dark ( on came the security lights) day after day, night after night you could hear the thump , thump, thump bang shake rattle of the back board hour after hour..

Luckily for me, we moved . My introduction to the sport of basketball was a negative, it ranked up there with barking dogs and Chinese water torture.

In recent days in this neighborhood we have seen an elementary school playground become the place , not of children’s laughter as they slide down slides, climb and play ball, but of consternation and criminal activity; definitely not the intended use of the facility .

Not playing around; Disturbing activity at Admiral King Elementary playground draws concerns

It had become the “gathering place” of “ASB’s” anti- social behaviourists”– these are the young ADULTS who move in , take over and generally don’t give a damn for society except their own. There was much ta do in the neighborhood anger and complaints about the behaviours emanating from the playground long after school was over.


“I’ve seen grown men urinate on playground equipment, people having sex on the slides, smoking pot and who knows whatever else,” Watchorn said. “There are basketball games that go on till all hours of the night, drug deals; terrible language; it goes on constantly.”

Even the intended use of the ” hoops” by the neighborhood children was negated. Instead the ASB’s took over.

Ironically, as I have watched the dialogue unfold menacing and disgusting behavior ( abhorrent to those of us in another society) , open foreplay, fornication , foul language that was as repetitive as the thump, thump, thump, bang, rattle off the backboard- urination on the equipment , culminating in a neighborhood arsonist ( who also went to the playground for the “hoops”) setting fires not once but apparently 3 times but it was the request to remove the hoops that caused consternation among some of the powers that be!

“Where are their priorities ?”

I was amazed therefore, to see how even those who proclaim their place in leadership and society focused not on the “quality of life issues” but becoming irate and passionate about saving “basket ball hoops” on a ELEMENTARY SCHOOL playgound . Some of the people, for whom I have the greatest respect, were defending basketball hoops rather than the quality of life of individuals who are affected by this anti- social behavior.


Lorain school officials remove basketball hoops from Admiral King(Morning Journal)

Anti  Political Correctness Ad by  Chris Ritchey

Anti Political Correctness Ad by Chris Ritchey

The priorities seem very confused to me so let me be clear:

1. The repetitive noise of the “game ” hour after hour after hour into the early morning has been shown to cause heightened stress levels which in turn can cause health problems . Your decisions ( BOE and Lorain City schools) could be seen to create a possible public/ private nuisance and not only in the Admiral King Elementary neighborhood. .

“To constitute a nuisance, either public or private, the acts complained of must either
cause injury to or obstruct the reasonable use or enjoyment of another’s property”

A common, or public, nuisance is the doing of or the failure to do something that
injuriously affects the safety, health or morals of the public, or works some substantial
annoyance, inconvenience or
injury to the public. Commonwealth v. South Covington &
Cincinnati Street Railway Co., (1918), 181 Ky. 459, 463. To be considered public, the nuisance
must affect an interest common to the general public and it is not necessary that the entire
community be affected, so long as the nuisance will interfere with those who come in contact
with it in the exercise of a public right. W. Keaton, D. Dobbs, R. Keaton & D. Owen, Prosser &
Keaton on the Law of Torts, 645 (5th Ed. 1984).

/”private nuisance”

A private nuisance is an interference with a person’s enjoyment and use of his land. The law recognizes that landowners, or those in rightful possession of land, have the right to the unimpaired condition of the property and to reasonable comfort and convenience in its occupation


2. In this particular situation around Admiral King Elementary,for those BOE members who are trying to save hoops rather than quality of life for their neighbors:

These hoops are being denied to the very children for whom they were meant ! You are introducing an element to a playground that adversely effects your young students.
I don’t think that was the intended use of such equipment

3. If Lorain City Schools wish to give the general population access to the “basket ball ” courts etc. then there must be accountability by the Lorain City Schools. You are confusing a playground with a public park, in my opinion. I don’t believe it is up to Lorain City Schools to provide entertainment to adults at the expense of the children , students and neighbors. Apparently these full court hoops are becoming a magnet for moronic behaviours.

There has to be “rules’ – LCS – you do not let your students run amok in your buildings and playgrounds , spitting, urinating , acts of a sexual nature during the school day. Why then, should you allow such usage after hours? It doesn’t make sense! Does your definition of quality of life and responsible behavior end at the end of the school day?
commit nuisance


No , if the desire is to keep this equipment available to the “general public” then it carries with it the responsibility of “refereeing ” of the usage .

It means signage, limited hours and “policing”- NOT BY THE NEIGHBORHOOD, NOT BY THE RESIDENTS, NOT BY THE LORAIN POLICE DEPT BUT BY THE OWNERS OF THE PROPERTY- LORAIN CITY SCHOOLS ( and apparently since the State of Ohio paid 81 percent for the building of the new facilities ) BY THE STATE!

To those that cry foul to the taking down of the hoops I would suggest “involvement” , intelligentsia, and consideration for those who feel the ripple effect of your decision-making!

June 5, 2013 at 11:29 am 6 comments

An Open Letter – WARD 2 -NEEDS YOU

decline lorain

This past week, in this oldest neighborhood of Lorain, Charleston Village has seen the arrest of an alleged arsonist, who twice returned in the same amount of days to a brand new elementary school’s playground to destroy.

The video in the article shows the aggression of such an act and the aftermath

destruction collage
Photos LORAIN 365

Yes, this “alleged arsonist” is just the latest escalation of anti social behavior in Ward Two, Lorain Ohio.

We hear the cries of citizens take back your neighborhoods. Oh! and some of us we have tried to do so in many ways in the past two decades, but we who are still left in these older neighborhoods are as burned out as our playground .

open-letterAN OPEN LETTER to those who are the deciders!

For two decades a group of volunteers in the Lorain’s oldest neighborhood known as Charleston Village Society have tried to preserve a quality of life in our neighborhood. We have worked to preserve Lorain’s history and heritage, to maintain a neighborhood , started the block watch program 20 years ago. We were and are very involved in community but we are weakening fast.

We watched with sadness as our two large school buildings in this Lorain oldest community- Irving and the “old” Lorain High/ Lorain middle school- sat empty and forlorn. We rejoiced when a new elementary school was built and named after one of Lorain’s national and internationally recognized hero Fleet Admiral Ernest J King and Constellation Charter Schools saw the old Irving as an asset rather than a demolition .

We have also watched the “allowed” deterioration of our housing stock even as the State of Ohio asked of this community we preserve the historic aspects of this neighborhood . We have watched the loss of our merchants in our downtown area, a quality of life deteriorating with each placebo policy that came down to us. Some died , some left and some “exist” afraid in our streets.


However, we also see hope with the new policies being developed by the current Ritenauer Administration and a refocusing of efforts along Broadway , 100 percent trash pick-up and inspections. BUT if we are to stop the rot we will need “MORE”! We need teeth in our ordinances and accountability


We have tried to honor Lorain in all our efforts, with the help of the City of Lorain’s administrations/councils , Lorain City Schools and our sister organizations to feature in a unique way Lorain’s maritime history, honoring the fallen of the Iraq/ Afghanistan War as well as Admiral King’s birthplace.
befo eagle
Over the years we have , pleaded, pointed out the problems hoping we weren’t tilting at windmills, fought ideas we deemed detrimental not only to this neighborhood but to the city herself e.g. Condo”s in Veterans Park

An Eastern Shawnee Casino founded upon the desire of Craig Foltin to get a ” seat at a table” and our tax money spent for his cause – this was the “diversion” , the carrot to dangle in front of a desperate community that was never ever going to go anywhere the “hype of hyperbole” costing thousands and thousands
Casino deal raises doubts; Foltin slammed on cost of tribe negotiations
SOURCE: The Chronicle-Telegram Shawn Foucher September 13 2005

We have partnered with various groups ( 40 individuals in a Community Safety Forum ) to focus on a target area in order to turn the tide such as the Pilot Program for Community Safety, eventually centered in South Lorain under Father Thaden .

However, that particular pilot program failed after an initial success . The approach was one that needed a five pronged approach for success , Lorain Police Dept, Lorain Building Dept ( City of Lorain) Clergy and Social Service Agencies Lorain City Schools , Community ( neighborhood) surrounding the target area at the center of which was Lincoln School.

Sub police station – Lorain City Police
Pre School – Lorain City School
Information and Referral – El Centro
Employment – El Centro
Financial Literacy/ Housing program – El Centro
Senior program – El Centro
Youth Leadership program – El Centro

Once again the effort failed due to the lip service of the then City of Lorain Administration- Mayor Craig Foltin and the withdrawal of the Lorain City Schools bricks and mortar.

Just over a year ago, the Lorain Schools allowed the vacant Lincoln Elementary School to be transformed into a community center set up to honor a teenage girl who was fatally shot by a stray bullet while she was in her living room.
On Monday, the Lorain school board voted to reclaim the building.

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 effort died aborning but the talk the talk continued :

Lorain officials look to youth programs to decrease violence

We ,in this oldest neighborhood of Lorain were woken in the early morning after a Day of Pride to the stench of burning once again.

Lorain City Schools has called a “community meeting “ Wednesday May 29th at 6 at the Admiral King Elementary School – apparently to last 1 hour !Here we go again !!!

In response, school administrators have scheduled a one-hour community meeting for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the elementary school as a way to engage the public on how to better the schools’ playgrounds. Morning Journal May 24th.

We have also over the years witnessed the pressure cooker release meetings

Give the outraged whatever the situation a chance to sound off, have their say , limited their time to two or three or five minutes , nod in agreement , smile yes we will work toward an end , all will get on board all smiles and shaking hands at the feel good scenario. And in a few weeks all this will be old news and we can get on with the whatever the particular powers that be were doing before so annoyingly interrupted.

LIP SERVICE has become the reaction. The cynic, I have become, waits to see the latest “talk the talk” outcome.

elephantin the room

Well no matter, this is just an old ward with a plethora of social service agencies , major multi rentals, dilapidated buildings along our main thoroughfare , crime , a dumping ground for the Registered Sex Offenders and those on parole (90 parolees alone in the 44052 zip code and 138 RSO in 115 locations). Smugly referred to by those in better wards better communities as “Low – rain”.
downtoen collage
L-R Veterans Park ( toilet?) Historic Mayor Kings Home Washington Ave ( owner 64 other properties) and Business on Broadway ( owner owns over 200 properties)

To you that have discounted this ward and her ills let me just say this – so goes Ward Two “Low rain” so goes Lorain. The lack of enforcement of building ordinances( such as they are)- the lack of accountability by those that use this ward to line their pockets while prostituting her housing, the lack of “judicial intestinal fortitude”, the “politics that drive decisions, the LIP service has culminated in what you see in this ward today.

HOWEVER Lorain, this ward is also the ward where Lorain can turn into a positive direction

mark collage


We have reached a tipping point – our “alleged” arsonist – a resident within two blocks of the school, lives in a rental whose owner lives in California , they also own another home on the same street- which is another “nuisance” to those that still try live here in this neighborhood. The drug dealer arrested just three months ago

Suspected drug dealer near Admiral King Elementary school arrested
also owned by a multi property owners.

We are the cancerous core of the decline of Lorain, but we are also her HOPE .
Lorain city  council

To you council representatives you need to stop the rot here and now!

We are the only ward where development can take place. Ward two has the lakefront, we have the river front, we have the business/ commercial district, we have the seat of government , the port, we are the on the scenic highway and byways trail, Lake Erie circle tour, theatre and we have Lorain’s history!

There will be no rebirth of a downtown whilst the neighborhoods along the Broadway corridor are decayed and only fit habitation for miscreants , vermin and thugs, where the only profits being made are on the backs of nuisance housing.

The Judicial Branch– we are tired of revolving door sentencing- time to start using the powers you have on your benches !

It is all very well for the churches and social service agencies to have compassion for the indigent in this area

however the compassion has to have accountability to the population who wish to get a book from the public library, attend a church service, to go to the bank, to walk into a jeweler or a print shop. attend a festival on our river front , to be able to sit on a park bench in Lorain oldest park enjoy her fountain without the stench of human feces.

Your compassion has responsibility to those individuals as well.

Our “worth” or lack thereof is spreading to your neighborhoods – homes derelict or selling for less than an automobile – has already caused a significant monetary loss to the “newer homes” in the “good wards”. The neighborhood issues of safety along with a failing grade has already caused Lorain City Schools distress, loss of students and monetary damages you can ill afford. .

Lorain YOU are perceived by those outside this community by what is happening here in Ward Two – we can either make or break you. It is time you ALL pay attention to what is happening here because we are the symptom of a greater terminal disease. !

It is UP to Lorain’s government, Administrative, Legislative, Judicial to focus on this ward. It is up to the Social Service agencies the churches to also take responsibility for their compassion. It behooves the Lorain City Schools to listen and see what is happening in your neighborhoods because like it or not you are part of the system- your decisions affect our community too!

It is up to you to get involved and find the intelligence and guts to sort out the problems because we who still try and “live” here are reliant upon just a “few ”

lorain saefty

as our last line of defense to support us and they too are out numbered as the placebo policies are spreading out from our core! We are literally going down in flames in this “old” ward two
fire flames wallpapers  9

May 28, 2013 at 11:26 am 10 comments

I’ m CRUSHED- but not around here- Why not???

I wrote a post that has sat in my drafts folder for two years . I was on the look out for “tumbled glass mulch for the Lorain Admiral King Tribute landscaping around the anchor.

anchor blue mulch

As the project for Fleet Admiral King progresses and things such as anchors get added so the site so the site plan changes.
As I looked at the site , knowing what it takes to keep all the plants watered and weeded over at Settlers’ Watch I knew we couldn’t go the same way with the mound that will form the “hook” of the anchor at the Admiral King Tribute site.

Black mulch with maybe an outline of white and silver planting outlining the hook ( drought tolerant plants) would be a possibility.

The anchor from the previous Admiral King High School would be the center piece but how to display it rather than just sticking it on a concrete pad.

As I looked out at the blue lake I thought of blue crushed glass mulch… I know they have it in fact……….

My quest to find it locally has been a trip……. Never heard of it- No nothing like that they don’t make that errrrr excuse me but….

So I checked with Lorain County Solid Waste our recycing over-seerer ;they sent me to Republic who are in the recycling business and a nice chap named Brian told me “never heard of it”

Hey I know I can be cutting edge but this stuff goes for quite a bit of money and obviously the local recyclers don’t watch HGTV because they would know this stuff is used for more than making bottles and it is expensive..
Just look at the things you can do with it

I know What happens to old windshields in New England but what happens in Lorain just used for making more bottles?

Since I will have to “import” recycled glass ( Let me tell you they don’t make this recycling thing easy around here and from having to pay for shipping which is as much as the product I will have to see if I can adapt the design and not use so much shipped in recycled glass with some of our “known marble chips SIGH


Well I had success I found the glass mulch in cobalt blue and had to ship it from New Mexico. Then came the Eric Barnes Heroes Walk project, once again I wanted to use the glass mulch for around the tribute signs. I did have to have some shipped from Pennsylvania this time – again at an expense. $100.00 per 50 lb bag for recycled glass. In Texas you can pop along to the recycling center and fill up a bag of the mixed stuff for free.

I have heard a lot about recycling , I have heard a lot about needed jobs , well just a suggestion how hard can it be to recycle our waste glass tumble it and sell it at the average cost of $100 a 50 lb bag other states and communities are making a great deal of money.

Just check out what Cumberland County is doing

Is there anything high-speed flexible impactors can’t flail into gold? Not bloody likely, given the magic they’re performing with garbage glass in Tennessee.

While you and your friends might sell beer bottles to acquire more beer, or use them to build wicked steampunk goggles, the Cumberland County Recycling Center is grinding them up to make cheap mulch and road salt. Wait: That’s actually possible? Hell yeah, it is, and here’s how it works

In fact in New Zealand they are experimenting with different shades of crushed glass for their reflective properties in helping the “wine” grapes – Ohio wine growers interested??

I think we in Lorain County are missing out on a lucrative opportunity- if we have the “bottle”. (Synonyms bottle [British slang], bravery, courageousness, daring, daringness, dauntlessness, doughtiness, fearlessness, gallantry, greatheartedness, guts,)

April 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm 1 comment

The Cowboys of Lorain- ( Building standards) Part One


Being the expat I am, I bring with me some terminology sometimes lost to my US readers and “community” . For more years than I care to remember I have “bitched” about the quality and lack of care given to the “rehabs” by the mega landlords who

“run their BUSINESSES of rental” in this community . Look on any of the streets in this old neighborhood the examples are there – there are those rehab to minimum standards- all that is “legally required of them”…. more on that later.


Before it had any special application to America, cowboy was used in England with the obvious meaning: “a boy who took care of cows.” Or he could have been a man, for boy implied not only youth and boyish attitudes but also low status.

Although the descriptive but uncomplimentary word cowboy was already around, Americans did invent two new meanings for it. The first, now forgotten meaning came during the American Revolution. It was the revolutionary patriots' term for pro-British raiders who operated in the boundary between American and British forces in Westchester County, New York. They harassed and plundered the rural districts; a later writer said;they went around in the bushes armed with guns and tinkling a cow-bell so as to beguile the patriots into the brush hunting for cows.

after the Civil War, when for two decades thousands of cowboys drove millions of longhorn cattle from Texas to the new transcontinental railroads in Kansas and Colorado. The English speakers who first settled the Southwest had learned the skills of controlling cattle from Spanish-speaking vaqueros, a name translated crudely as buckaroos.

western art

But those who hired the minimum-wage, equal-opportunity horsemen for the big cattle drives of 1866-86 simply called them cowboys, a term attested as early as 1849, and that was the name that stuck. And though they were poorly paid and worked under the harshest conditions, or perhaps just because of those circumstances, the cowboy became the most enduring legend of the American West. Building on this legend, cowboy today still is used to mean someone who is reckless, impulsive, and dangerous

In Britain “cowboy” is a slang term for
An unscrupulous, incompetent, or reckless person in business, esp. an unqualified one. We have a lot of fly by night “so-called ” unlicensed contractors whose work is in the best scenario lacking in quality and in the worst case down right dangerous.

The cowboy builders , contractors and they can be a problem in my “old country”

shoddy  uk

Avoiding cowboy builders

but surely here in Lorain the “cowboy ” has to TO ANSWER TO LAW AND ORDER- THE BIG GUNS SO TO SPEAK
marshalled 2


About Building Department – Lorain Ohio

The Department was established tos administer and enforce the provisions of the Lorain Building, Housing and Zoning Codes plus the National Electric Code and State Building, Plumbing and Elevator Codes.
The Department’s two primary functions:
•Plan Examination and
•Code Enforcement

The Department registers building contractors, issues permits, maintains records, inspects all new construction and major rehabilitations engages in systematic code enforcement programs for existing properties and provides nuisance abatement to properties and buildings in disrepair.
Mission Statement

To contribute to Lorain’s urban renaissance by preserving and strengthening neighborhoods through ambitious code enforcement.

Code Services

To inspect structures for the purpose of enforcing the City of Lorain’s building, housing and zoning codes and to Ohio’s Building Codes, maintain uniform standards and requirements of residential, commercial and individual buildings.
Future Plans
•Foster higher levels of expertise in the building inspection department by encouraging education and growth among existing staff.
•Develop Housing Division to spearhead property maintenance and zoning issues.
•A Revenue Development to insure all funds currently allowed by legislation are collected for the common good and stability of the city.
•Re-establish City of Lorain Board of Building Commission to further reinforce standard for quality in residences, buildings, and structures throughout the City of Lorain.



January 23, 2013 at 1:29 pm 15 comments

Debasing Debate – Romney- Obama – and Editoral’s comments

There are sometimes when I wake from a dream I wonder did that really happen- is it a memory or just another one of my poor brain’s attempts to make sense of my world and thoughts?

I had such a dream last night and yes this one was a dream and it made more sense to me , fractured and emotional as it was, than the situation and day happenings that caused the “filing away” of the day by my brain.

Yesterday I had a “sick ” headache – aka migraine – which was not helped at all by the continuous beep, beep, beep of the machines pointing the bricks at the old Irving School across the road. The machine starts at 7:30 and as it crawls along, sloth-like, it is accompanied by the most insidious beeping until 4:30 pm. This has been going on for a couple of weeks and my only salvation is that it will be over with , I hope, very soon.
Between that and the Romney / Obama ads ripping at each other every few minutes on every tv station- Yes guys I am fed up with the lot of you, all those ads have done to this Independent is turn her completely off the election …hmmmmmmmmmm political strategy ?????????????? Yesterday, I wasn’t sure what was causing more distress in my world.


Having only just retrieved my computer back again – Yes the Geek Squad and I are becoming fast friends) I was made aware of a “debate” ( and I use that word loosely) happening in the comments section of the Morning Journal and Tom Skoch’s editorial-

THE EDITOR’S COLUMN: Ryan right man to make election stakes clear

There are as of 7 this morning 266 comments – most are debasing, vitriolic and cowardly as they spew their “thoughts” through fake identities impervious to accountability such as this little gem (pulled at random)- and remember this is was supposed to be about a choice for Vice President

I’m a sick pig, while you’re so full of anger, you take glee in public displays of affection with someone of the same gender, telling yourself that you’re enlightening the world that my kind has messed up, knowing in your heart that you’ve not won the day until you can make some poor innocent bystander throw up on the sidewalk out of revulsion.

So on that wonderful “thinking(???) out -loud, worthy???? of publication comment – back to my dream that woke me up in the wee hours of the morning.

In my dream I had been asked to speak at a gathering, I informed the chairperson that I may not be a wise choice as I could be quite controversial-

Oh that is fine we like to hear the other side , we are open minded- we love a good debate etc


But as I began my speech ( tempered for my audience) even in my dreams I know that people don’t REALLY want the unvarnished truth- I was attacked verbally from the floor by someone ( who shall remain nameless in this dream of course) who can push my anger button and did so – I let fly with the “unvarnished truth” and what I really thought only to have the Chairman and panel chase me from the room – screaming like a mob of …

Oh! yes commenters – who, like anaerobic bacteria destroy and eat away at the dying /dead carcass of true civilized debate and causes a stench from the mouth.

When dreams are reality based???? This election is becoming as annoying as beep, beep, beep, beep and those that debase debate are becoming a force silencing those who would share an opinion attacking with caustic and blistering personal insults anyone who differs. Such is the case in my world this morning and my waking brain isn’t make much sense of it all.

August 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm 79 comments

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