My roses their guns – walk away from Lorain?

I don’t need a little Christmas- I need  new leaves, blossoms, daffodils, tulips the sound of splashing water from the ponds, grass that is green . I need mother nature to  take me away  and screen me from  those that dwell in the “hood”.

I  can look at the snow drops peeking through  and imagine I  am far far away in a woodland  dell instead of the “No  Exit” that we are living. I use  mother nature and her children – trees and shrubs flowers and vines to  build a barrier between them and us.

I have been planted here  because I  chose a young, brown-eyed , perfect teeth  of a guy and followed him to  Lorain  and this house. It has been home for over 40  years now. And the issues and problems with  purchasing in a neighborhood that was transitioning has been well documented on this blog.

But in the past 10  years the bank dumps especially  with  the “Blue House” have lowered property  values – caused the neighborhood  that was at one point stable and going back to a more respectful quiet and family  area to  take a nose dive. 1121 W 4th   now owned by  one  MARRERO – RAMOS MIGUEL  . His “tenants” who  obviously  feel we should appreciate their  foul language and loud – gun totting lifestyle as they hemorrhage it all over the rest of the block.

2012 I knew that this was going to  be an issue from the very  first day  it sold…… after being dumped by  the bank

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/banks-banking-on-lorain-business-of-blight-devaluing-lorain/

“Well First Federal Savings of Lorain I have seen and “heard ” the “people” who have come to see your listing . I spoke to a couple of them as the parked on the lawn next door under my dining room window- as I informed them they were parking on another’s property and that it wasn’t a driveway – they knew and didn’t care- they were buying the  blue house? SIGH. Oh! and quite frankly I am dreading the rest of the summer thanks to you and your “business” decisions .

You, First Federal Saving of Lorain have, in my opinion, “dumped your unwanted housing” from $56,000 to 28 thousand (buy back )to 13,900 listing just two months later . NOTE sold for $12,500 – Great !!! And let us face it – it was your bank that made the decision just a few short years ago by giving a mortgage to someone unable to pay it in the first place that set in motion this chain of events.

You are responsible, in my opinion, for what will ripple out and effect this neighborhood. Don’t forget, you were also the mortgage holder and foreclosed on the other neighborhood house next door 1125, W. 4th street– now scheduled for demolition

AND then

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-one/

 

Flash  forward 6  years later and many  issues – the brown house was demolished- then came the highway  cut through  and parking wherever the needed to  park… boats, trucks and vehicles. I  suppose it was just a nuisance to  me and mine that we had to  live with  this disrespectful behaviours.

We  finally  purchased the lot next door  1125 W 4th   (2016)  duly  fenced , planted shrubs, trees, ponds and plants to  make our little corner of the world  a place for respite .

I argued there was hope for Lorain and this area , even knowing that it was an uphill battle due to  business practices that have made the surrounding  neighborhoods a concern for anyone wanting to  open  a restaurant or bring in an  “up  market” healthy  business. It was going to  be local and piecemeal at  best. Through a 501C3 we have tried our best to  bring something of which  we can be proud to the area:

This particular house 1121, W 4th   – a rental- with  a plethora of tenants  in the three bedroom 1 bath  home- including a very loud lifestyle,. has a business in the form of a funeral home  behind them – The fence behind the funeral home parking lot was knocked down  and so  now exposes those  coming for viewing a view that I  am sure isn’t what they  were expecting :

March 11th  found a “flock” of “yard birds” swilling alcohol comparing guns and shouting in the alley  – and witnessed by  more than me.

In the front of the house, across the street is a Charter School, and since these people live back to  front their trash   etc is always s there bidding a warm welcome to  the parents dropping off their kids.  March  18th

Trouble is  we can nothing about the intimidation  the “fear of ones safety” and IF WE don’t feel safe in our own street and  back garden  then does Lorain honestly  think walking this street to  the local opportunities or parking in the neighborhoods  just blocks away is an option.

People read this blog who  are not from Lorain- they  use it to  research  the community – they  come here to  find out about Lorain-

This type of post does Lorain no  good BUT it is the truth , it is what has happened all over this Ward 2  thanks to  banks local , national and international ( all documented for years on this blog) , out-of-town LLC’s , multi property  owners who  don’t give a damn and a population that is being held hostage and quiet  through fear of retaliation.

This past weekend March  18  my  two  little grandchildren coming to  help  their grandfather tidy  the new lot – get ready  for spring were subjected to  a wild-eyed , irate  witch calling them and their “Nog” – as she hauled herself on the flat-bed of a tow truck they  have parked next to  my  fence – every  form of filth she could muster from her large loud mouth.

 

The cause of this “in retaliation tirade”   because I asked her on  Sunday March  4th  – as her music  cranked up  when she parked her vehicle in the alley  doors wide open   was vibrating every  window in the neighborhood .

My  request to  turn it down   was met with  a torrent of Spanish peppered with  “fu##” bitch .. was given the” talk to the hand” among the profanities pouring from her  and I said either turn it down or I call the police –

“you go backa in your house, bitch   I don’t need you… I gotta a new car and testing it out”

I said test it elsewhere – as she entered the house  the tirade of go into  your house mother- fu##er  .

Back  to  this past Sunday –  we were lighting the fire pit and preparing to  have the kids roast hot dogs (  nice American  pastime) apparently  Tonya of the Tow Truck decided  she no  likka my  smoke ( which  I  may  add was NOT  blowing east but south)  and hence the abuse.  Well I  have news for her I am allowed to  be in my  own garden with  my  grandchildren .

Unfortunately , as I  looked at the kids faces and what I  was seeing , I  became disenchanted , angry  and fed up !

The  littlest one now no  longer wanted to  be in the garden – he was frightened – they  didn’t know what was happening- they  aren’t exposed to  this sort of behaviors with  their neighbors and the oldest (  8) saying:

Nog, I am sorry  you  have to  live here

it dawned on me he felt like I was in some sort of hellish  world  so  unfamiliar to  him… I was seeing  our home through  the eyes of an 8-year-old and I  didn’t like what I  was seeing there .

Yes so  am I  – I said

There is nothing I can do…  This ward has become a  “glut of yobos” gone too far – the tipping point tipped.

– and thanks to  First Federal policies  and devaluing the neighborhood  ( in my  humble opinion) by dumping this house for $12,500    I can’t even sell this property   and my  grandchildren will not want their inheritance- far from over the river to  grandma’s house we go  – it will be “dump it” for what we can get -I   am not living there .

So  Lorain you  will  lose again ….  take that to  the bank!!!!!

My  roses against their guns ………. ain’t happening … 

 

 

 

Advertisements

March 19, 2018 at 4:24 pm 2 comments

March 3rd -It’s OK- Chris Ritchey

Reaching out- art work- Christopher Ritchey

It’s OK – (okay)  the origin of OK  has many  theories https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/explore/what-is-the-origin-of-the-word-ok

but basically   translated – Ok (okay) means it is alright, it is fine  or will be OK – will be alright – will be fine.

When something traumatic happens  either in real life or in tv / movie land – invariably , along with  the hug and the patting on the back http://www.saywhydoi.com/the-back-pat-why-do-we-pat-on-the-back/ comes the  words – “it’s OK”

No  it isn’t OK  really …. but like shaking hands when you  meet someone it is something  those  who  try  to comfort  do.

I found myself yelling at the television as yet another traumatized mother – having disaster over take her family  – and the well-meaning friend , the “it’s Ok” tripping from their mouth for want of something to  say – throw away  words ….

NO it isn’t OK, it will never be OK – her  “ok world” is no  more – stop telling them it is OK- alright – you  will be fine – just stop! hold them tell them they  are loved

but I  am here to  tell you   when you  lose  a son or daughter   nothing is ever alright, fine or okay in your world   ever again.

OK! well I  maybe be making a mountain out of a molehill…  and bitching about the human condition when we are at a loss for words and trying to  be kind and give comfort  but it cuts me to  the quick when I  see and hear those words spoken

The flawed Hand of the Healer by Chris Ritchey

AND  it is not okay  that my  wonderful, talented, loving  son with  his whole life ahead of him- is nothing more than a memory- and in some cases not even that – whilst the dregs of mankind and other sons cause terror and destruction to the world’s children.

 

AND it is not OK that once again I am losing from my  life  a sweet, caring , selfless , sparkling wine of a woman to  the obscenity  of cancer- another family  waiting and watching as she leaves us slowly. It is not OK that she is leaving whilst   the cruel bitches of this world thrive………

It is NOT OK Chris that I  am here and you  are not…….. I love you

March 3, 2018 at 12:20 pm 1 comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

D. Romancak 2008

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

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

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

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

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

and then  2016

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

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

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

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

and THEN!!!  August 30th  2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

75_4-11-16commmin

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

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

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

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

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

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

Art Work Scott Bakalar

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Such plans in 2011- ……….

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

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

Loans;

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

Grants:

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

CORF

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

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

CPD_Funding_Grantee_Matrix_LORA-OH_OH_20180201

loraincdbg 2017

BDRLF written off_notpaid_

27Feb2018

Copy of Public Service Streets and 108 spreadsheet(2)

Economic Development Final http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_Economic%20Development%20Review%20FINAL%20PDF.pdf

LDC Conflict of Interest Policy http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_Lorain%20Development%20Corp%20Conflict%20of%20Interest%20Policy.pdf

LDC Subrecipient Agreement http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_LDC%20Subrecipient%20Agreement%20PDF.pdf

Portfolio Quality Report http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_Portfolio%20Quality%20Report.pdf

EDA Title IX Plan http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_EDA%20Title%20IX%20Revolving%20Loan%20Fund%20Plan.pdf

 

March 1, 2018 at 11:03 am 4 comments

The Gatekeepers- Keeping us out!!!! Part One

They  come in all shapes sizes – they  populate the corners of the earth- the nameless , cubicle dwelling ,tickers of boxes. They  are supposed to  make life easier . They control our life and happiness, quietly  making decisions  as to  our finances, healthcare, bill paying,  pensions , entertainment , water,  fuel , travel ( airlines , ships, ferries  and trains) . Try to name one thing in our lives today that doesn’t go  through the faceless gatekeepers.

We trust them to  be there for us, especially  when the gatekeepers work for government agencies, federal, state, local or for the crown, or republics. You  see we  the people  are the employers of the gatekeepers. This is something  many  of them seems to  forget .

Due to   an  upsurge of people getting annoyed with  said gatekeepers – probably  because by  the time  we the consumer/ client  have already  had a stressful day with others of their kind- we are warned with  signs etc our annoyance won’t be tolerated  and we can be thrown off planes, https://clark.com/travel/7-reasons-you-can-get-kicked-off-a-flight/

and in the case of  Condor– a ferry  service  in the UK

https://www.bailiwickexpress.com/jsy/news/condor-react-after-threats-and-abuse-staff/?t=i#.Wo2AbUmosc8

” The ferry company – beset by problems since it launched its new £50 million Condor Liberation vessel on the Jersey-UK route last May – is putting up posters to remind passengers that abusive behaviour will not be tolerated.

And they say that some passengers have threatened to go to the media with their complaints if unreasonable demands aren’t met. Condor say that means they are now questioning whether much of the criticism they have faced is legitimate or not.

However it seems Condor is less than perfect in and of itself, which  may  explain customer’s irritation and irritable behavior-

Related News

High winds cause travel disruption

It wouldn’t be fair for me to  pick on poor old Condor they  are just the tip  of the iceberg  when it now comes to  “be nice!! no matter the provocation  OR ELSE! customer service

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/11/17/buyer-beware-europe-plane-train-boats-autos-hotels/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/07/16/trains-and-boats-and-planes/

TEN YEARS AGO I WARNED AND POINTED UP  THE – THEY  HAVE YOU  WHERE THEY  WANT YOU  GATEKEEPERS

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/10/19/where-do-i-begin-and-how-to-restart/

But above all “don’t complain, don’t moan and don’t get angry” I have learned that the “muppets” have power the power to decide whether you fly or not….

If you’ve ever wanted to end a complaint letter — or phone call, for that matter — with the words “I’LL NEVER FLY YOUR AIRLINE AGAIN!” or “I’LL SEE YOU IN COURT!” then let me offer a little advice. Don’t. Threats won’t just guarantee your failure. You could also end up on a company’s blacklist (oh yes, they have them)

French  side of the Euro StarWas it my  fault there was a fire in the tunnel  days previously- was it my  fault they  messed around with  our tickets, tried to  separate a pregnant daughter  , mother and father, and then put them on a train with  the incorrect destination for two  of them. When we tried to  explain in “English” we were met with   the “language stall” and finally  when I had worked out what the  “employee was saying” ( high school French) we were then being denied from boarding any  train PROBABLY  BECAUSE THEY  THOUGHT I  WAS A PUSHY  AMERICAN .  All trains were suddenly  full!!! WE WERE TOLD TO  LEAVE THE STATION!!!

However , my  beautiful daughter then had to turn on the charm ,  do  the sympathy  and blue eyes ploy  give the “gatekeeper his due reverence”  and got us on the train , which  was going to  our proper destination  and was 3/4 EMPTY!!!

You  learn to  shut up because  we have learned not to  put our hands in the fire or  upset the gatekeepers because the new power of claiming  they  feel threatened or loosely  interpret the term verbal abuse- without benefit of any  advocate for you  the client/customer/ citizen  , or the I am not paid to  deal with  irate people’s attitude- errrrr yes you  are!!!!!if you  are in the gatekeeper customer service industry.

You  are  held in the gatekeepers  grip- locally  I have been through the hell of the gatekeepers of government – I  am sure I  am on their black list

as one  Ms. Rosario of a local federal office stated to  me – she wasn’t prepared to  listen  to  my  situation- probably  because they  were

“short-staffed and she knew better than I the protocol  

I  say  that because that is how the conversation started – “we are very  short-staffed today  so  I  want to  get this done.….and her closing statement to  me that day Dec 18th 2017 AFTER I  had to  wait 5 weeks for the phone call….

” I will not deal with  you “

HMMMMMMMM   well SHE WAS RIGHT!!! she wasn’t dealing with  ME- NO! she was responding to the person who  was scared to  make waves incase the punishment for my  actions would be taken out on a 99-year-old lady

However , I  decided at three o’clock in the morning to  Hell with  it  they  would now deal with  ME!!

The ME that writes,  the me that gets on a soap box, the me that is nearing her sell by  date and has hit bottom emotionally, the me of the big mouth……… the ME that by  her attitude of “I will not deal with  you” – denied  ME and the 99-year-old  “due process and the right to  appeal”…. That is the ME to  be dealt with…

One of the main problems – whether it is paying your water bill ( locally) this has become a trip up  the River of Irate , getting cable TV or getting answers  from any  of the gatekeepers is – they  are presumably  DEAF!

They  are the “pseudo listeners” – they  have their “protocol of which  boxes need to  be ticked ” and that is it end of story- the computer says…….. and nothing you  can do  will make them stray  from that course and think out of the “computer box”.

And there is more to  come …………………

Free Speech by Chris Ritchey

February 21, 2018 at 4:36 pm Leave a comment

Gonna Party like you’re 99 – !!!!!

 

I have been thinking about this post all week- how do  I write about my  mum and her life  experiences   and loves. I decided to   let her words tell the tale of the time before – before she was my  mum and a young child and woman in her mid twenties.  I  think she said it best in her book ( published for family  only and written to  my  daughter when she was a wee one) in  the foreword :

Cover Design Chris Ritchey

It is sometimes safer to write about other people than about oneself and easier to shape their lives into a consistent pattern. When you come to examine your subject, in this case my life, more closely the process is somewhat more complex and daunting than I originally thought. Every human life is at once so complex, yet simple, so perplexing yet clear, superficial and yet plunges to the depths that attempts to present it as a unified whole may take more talent than your Nana has but I will try.

 

The times before when she was a young girl  scrumping apples with  her brother  Mark , that didn’t bode well as you  will see:

Parrot snout ( his nickname  for her) , tell me whatever you do- if you see anyone whilst I climb to the top of that tree”

“Ok, Mark, I will stand underneath whilst you throw the fruit down”.

What a wonderful bag I collected. The sunshine was brilliant and I got caught up watching the butterflies, I seemed to be lulled with the peace and tranquility of it all. “ What was that I could see? Could it be the policeman’s helmet appearing over the fence and two eyes taking in the scene!”? My voice froze, I could not warn my brother, not a sound came from my throat. I tried and tried to make the sound come “ Oh! Vi don’t muff this one” but I took to my heels, the bag of lovely fruit spilling and scattering in the orchard joining the feast for the wasps. I made for the hole in the fence and bolted without ever looking back, leaving the policeman underneath the tree waiting for an unsuspecting boy to descend.I was terrified, would I once again be shunned and ostracized by all and sundry? My  brother  angry  gave me  clip round the ear and said “ I will never take girls along again!”

 

The opportunity  for higher learning denied , although passing her exams and obtaining a scholarship, the family  could not afford the extras .

digging for victory

Her first job at the Express Dairy  when she was 15 as a window dresser  and in charge of the shop –  she too became one of the ME TOO      – this generation didn’t invent  sexual harassment…… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_Too_movement 

 The visits of Mr. B { a travelling Superintendent for the company } grew more frequent, I grew more apprehensive. I longed to confide my fears to someone, my sister Renee was too young, my mother would have advised and helped me but I just couldn’t bring myself to tell her…what could I tell her as nothing had yet occurred. Events came to a head one afternoon, Mr. B called in; he had a very nice shiny new car and invited me to go for a ride with him that evening. I said I was unable to do so.

”OK then some other time maybe!” Meanwhile he made some coffee, opened a tin of pineapple chunks (4 1/2 d) and a carton of cream (2d) he offered me some. I don’t really know what happened then, but I was suddenly held in a vise like grip, the small table upon which the pineapple and cream were sitting went over, juice spilling all over me! The fingers with the hairs were groping and fumbling, I was shaking with fright, and my overall was off ….my brass buttons “pinged” as they hit the floor.

Sometimes the unbelievable happens, it did a customer came in the shop door. And the bell really saved me! The lady bless her never knew what she did for me that day. I didn’t stop to lock the shop up but tore off on my bicycle, not daring to look around. I turned in my resignation and applied for a position in the G.P.O. (General Post Office)

Mum managed to  get a placement

The training school was in Holborn, with dummy switchboards. It seemed there were nothing but aged old dried up spinsters ladies were teaching us,( how unkind and thoughtless we are when we are young.) The wonder of it all when we finally finished our training and passed as “thirty six hour girls” ( you were only allowed to work for 36 hours to start with hence the expression). We were then directed to our “local” telephone exchanges. During this training time which took three months we weren’t paid. How my mother coped not only not having my wages coming in to help but to give me enough for fares and lunches must have been so very difficult for her but somehow she managed.

The meeting of the young man who would eventually  be her husband and my  father.

. After one of the dances, as was the custom then, we were standing clapping waiting for the band to start up again; a chap around 5ft 9, quite well-built with terrifically strong-looking shoulders and periwinkle blue eyes and with blonde hair, one curl of which had fallen across his forehead. He came over and whisked and danced me to the other end of the room.

 

Then War!! Mum volunteered for special duty  and ended up  at the Ministry  of Information


Three of us would be required to man the emergency switchboard, which was housed in the basement of the building; this was called the war room. A big square room, around the walls were telephone boxes which were connected with a direct line to all the important ministries for example, the Admiralty, War Office, Air Ministry, Foreign Office, Ministry of Supply etc. etc.

In each telephone box sat a high-ranking official who would be in communication with his respective Ministry. The censors and press officials were they’re sorting and sifting through thousands of reports coming in from all areas of Britain and the world.

These people were tremendous and treated the operators extremely well Lord Reith had taken on the job of Minister of Information; he had been head of the BBC. Winston Churchill, who was then 1st Lord of the Admiralty, used to come through on his direct line “ Good Morning, give me the Minister please” short polite and always to the point. The town clerks and mayors of today in local council could well take a lesson from those gentlemen of yesteryear.

Sir Walter Monkton was there; he was a good friend of the Duke of Windsor who was in France at the time. The Duke would call quite frequently to have a chat with his friend. I enjoyed my work immensely it was extremely busy especially if any kind of action, naval air or army was taking place.

However all was not fun and games  my  19-year-old mum working at the Ministry  of Information you  got the  war news before most and one day:

 

HMS Southampton

her boyfriend’s ship

Damaged during air raid on warships in Forth Estuary.One bomb penetrated three decks. Casualties.

came through the ticker tape

NOTE: ” The Man who Designed the Spitfire” again little life coincidences. The Spitfire first saw action on that October 16th 1939 protecting the Royal Navy and my Dad.

On 16 October 1939, Junkers Ju-88s of 1/KG 30 led by Hauptmann Helmuth Pohle attacked British warships in the Firth of Forth. Nine of the Ju-88s were intercepted over Rosyth by three Spitfires of 603 Squadron, each of which attacked Pohle’s aircraft which was hit repeatedly and crashed into the sea

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/long-time-passing-gone-to-fighting-part-6/

However she too was in peril and felt the Nazi Blitz…


It must have been only 9: pm. There seemed to be a great deal of activity outside. We used to be able to tell by the sound of the aircraft engine whether it was one of ours or one of the Germans.

The whistle of the descending bombs and the following explosions was terrifying. We sighed a breath of relief when hearing that explosion didn’t have our name on it. This night I did not hear the whistle nothing suddenly a complete and utter silence. The bricks seemed to be crumbling and falling all around. I tried to hold onto something. I only grabbed at empty space. The air was filled with dust. I realized the house must have received a direct hit and the three people who had been near me had disappeared. I tried calling the silence was eerie and shocking. I had bricks and wood and plaster all around me “was I going to be buried alive?”

 

There was one sound, a hissing sound coming from somewhere beneath me. “A fractured gas pipe perhaps”. I remembered hearing accounts of people being gassed to death before they had been dug out from all the rubble. I groped all around in that black darkness and found a pipe, maneuvered myself and sat over the leakage. Bricks were still falling but I had heard human voices Maudie and her mother and sister (Barbara) everyone was at least alive. Then came the sound of faint movements. These became clearer and what seemed to be hours later a chalky white face appeared, Mr. Cushing’s. He had been on ARP duty outside and seen his own house go up!

Many hands helped me out; I was the first and escaped with hardly a scratch but was holding a very sore backside and apparently hysterically asked the first aid warden “ can you get gassed in the posterior” he obviously thought I was a little balmy. Mrs. Cushing fared the worse and Maudie and Barbara were very badly bruised and shaken, seeing the remains of what was left of the house. Just one heap of broken bricks, shattered glass and matchsticks only remains of doors and beams. The marvel is that we escaped at all.

These things happened  before I  even knew this wonderful woman who was  to  be my mum.

After the war years came family  years – chock a block full with  uncles , aunts, cousins  a lots of laughter. As always there were  some bad and terrible times   but always through it all was my  mum constant , loving and keeping the wolf from the door and being there for me.

MY mum may  not have amassed a fortune but I don’t know any  other person who  has, through the years  gathered so  many  friends and such  love, due to  her just being her . Never a day  goes by when there isn’t at least one card or letter coming through the mail from some far-flung corner of the globe. She is Aunty  Vi or Aunty  Janet, mother in law  and sometimes the “Dame”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Best of all she is my  mum, and her  grandchilden’s

and her Great grand children’s  NANA!!!


 

Happy  Birthday  Mum this one is for you !

 

February 11, 2018 at 1:45 pm 3 comments

Feb 3rd -Helpless- Chris Ritchey

Heart of Thorns- artwork Chris Ritchey

Another February , and  the beginning of the  scream , the weeks of feeling totally  useless and helpless . Walking in two worlds – trying to  remain calm, positive  and supportive for the journey  thrust upon your young life.  All the while my  chest  collapsing, jaw clenching to  stop the tears and terror I was feeling from showing.  The weeks and months after you  passed   trying to  stop from going mad,  running from the “black dog” of Churchill fame.

The emotional incontinence – staying close to  home  – not wanting to  drive  incase the sight of a young man in black  Ford 150 truck  would split my  reality.  I learned how to  hide, how to  suppress the emotional nightmare with tricks of the grief-stricken. We, who  have lost our son or our daughter  learn lessons no  one should have to  learn.

The nights  when the dying days visit –  the  mind tools kicking in  to temper the  ferocity  of memory so sleep can come.  Turning a corner , one would think, but like the damned cancer it is there lying quietly , building upon itself.  I thought I  was managing quite well in the last few months  and then- not cancer- but once again wanting and trying to  get your Nana  through a situation caused by  bureaucrats. Weeks and months of fighting , trying to  make sense of a situation beyond my  control . Holding on,  trying to  be the Loraine I  once was …. A bureaucratic wall was thrown up

I couldn’t get through , your Nana’s physical and emotional well-being  compromised by an officious, pseudo-listener  “gatekeeper” . After months of dealing with  her ilk  and they,  not knowing or caring how this situation was causing such distress to   a 98-year-old woman- as the phone was hung up – and I  sat stunned – bewildered  not knowing where to  turn next.

 

BFA project
Chris Ritchey

And then it happened – the trigger- those feelings  of the dying days were unleashed , not in waves but  with a flood- overwhelming  logic – nothing could stop the torrent- hours  and hours of raw emotion, tears that just wouldn’t  cease, the sobs that wracked  were back – brought forth  from their hiding place. Worried faces of family  , concern , the questions  upon  furrowed brows.

Then just as “anger ”  at  the cretins  of your bride’s family  kept me upright in those days of   total despair and surrender… anger once again surged through the dark and made me strong enough to  continue- to  fight back against  the ignorance  – the   “people” inflicting pain  upon those I love.

Your Nana survived the bureaucrats, thanks to help  from those that did and do  listen .  And I  realized once more  the wound has not healed- the scar is still only  surface deep and it waits…… because there is nothing I  can do – even in anger- to  see you  walk through a doorway  once more , hear your voice laugh with you  and enjoy  you  being you………

February 3, 2018 at 1:28 pm Leave a comment

10th Anniversary- That Woman blog –

TEN YEARS! a lot has happened since I put up  that first post

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/

As I  wrote that first post, I had no  idea that in a few short weeks my  world would fall apart .

 

I started off that  January  21st 2008 with  an ideal and a hope to  make a difference.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/01/  and continued to  explore my  own way  forward from the conflict of CRA  https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/category/cra/ and with  “reports and studies”  on Lorain’s well being, visiting  the theatre and my  mentor and her quote of “this too shall pass” !

BUT then:  my  world did  fall apart and I  found not kindness, or compassion but selfishness -even in death. I found my  world upside down and I was in a state of disbelief .


https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/02/28/all-it-takes-is-a-phone-call-to-start-you-screaming/

 

 

After the horrendous news  given so  clinically  of my  son’s cancer , I continued to  write for my  own sake – to  take me away  from my  own  terrors  for a brief  while. The blog became a  cathartic tool to give me strength to  deal  – week after week , month  after month  documenting the days the events and the back story of the approximately  64 categories on this blog,  the 1,559 posts to  date with  at least  another 150 in draft form .

Drafts– they  reside in the not yet published stage for many  reasons- in some cases I  hesitate to  publish – are they  a “bridge too far” – should they  not be consigned to  hard copy – Would people really  understand and believe ( even with  documentation) ….. remains to  be seen


https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/july-3rd-the-story-the-book-chris-ritchey/

and a few that will have to  wait until I am dead so  I  do  have the last word

ED Note: I wonder if my  family  will have the guts to  press publish 😉

If I can  pat myself on the back, the millions ( yes millions) of words written by  me in  10 years  – I can truthfully  say  every  single thought, opinion and happenstance is accurate and truthful ( to  the best of my  knowledge) I have documented  and or linked to documentation throughout those years the reasoning for my  opinions etc.

Has this blog accomplished anything changed thinking , made a difference. If I am honest NO!-


The hypocrites  still exist  getting on  with  their lives , falling on their  on their knees to  pray   and get their blessings from a church that has its own issues

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/the-cardinal-letter-h-for-hypocrisy-pappish-style/

– no  sanction for the pain they  caused  for those grieving  the loss of their son , brother and uncle .  https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/december-11th-the-beginning-of-the-beginning/


Homes  and buildings in Lorain still are falling down, inspection processes are still a shambles thanks in part to  the procedures and the courts,  deals are still being dealt, government ( no  need to  say  more)

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/the-follow-up-a-tale-of-two-houses-city-council-Loraine/

General Gillmore portrait

Lorain’s history  consigned to  files in a cabinet. Not one piece of Lorain Lorain’s tangible history  has been appreciated or  saved by  the thousands of words written about those early  pioneers.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/generally-gillmore-the-last-post-lorain-part-12/

Hardly  anybody  really  cares- scandals ( especially  with  this year’s White House) pile on and are forgotten , replaced with  even more poor behavior.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/is-trump-the-toxic-avenger-or-dynasty-destroyer/

Society,  as we  who  were bought up by  the  post war ( WW2)  generation thought  it should be, society  has not lived up the  “greatest generation” standards.

Source :https://backpackerlee.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/traditional-british-fish-and-chips/

The saying (which  the Brits will remember) – “today’s news is tomorrows fish  and chip   wrapper” – still holds true today. Although no  longer allowed due to  health  and safety  standards – they  can’t wrap up your  meal in newspaper anymore.

The premise is still the same  “the news today  is soon forgotten  consigned to  the garbage can”  – it can be resurrected come election time  in some cases but happenings that would have been unacceptable by society  in decades prior are  accepted for the most part.

Cartoon by Dave Walker

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/the-media-and-the-blogger-ad-it-up/

Oh! there will be a blow up on social media , posts and outrage BUT it is soon calmed , a new issue will take its place. We did our bit we were outraged on line thinking.  The perpetrators of  course have realized this new way  of protest and the fact  we  the public have a short attention span.

As my  mentor Jean Schaeffer said ” this too will pass”  she was right. So  why  bother , even the documentation linked to  from other blogs  , newspaper links  to  various stories  disappear  from my  site . I learned too late to  make hardcopies in those early  months.

I have documented the past 10 years, the good, the bad, the ugly,   and just maybe in the time to  come a researcher  will come across these thoughts and opinions and get the “true story” – who  knows – worth  a try  anyway. Well 10  years , I  am not sure I  have another 10 years  and the blog’s fate is day  to  day……………… but come what may  I  will probably  have the last word- remember  don’t speak ill of the dead 😉 just not done….

 

January 21, 2018 at 3:27 pm 5 comments

Older Posts Newer Posts


Categories

Archives

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

Join 195 other followers

July 2018
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031