Posts tagged ‘Charleston Village’

Money Where Your Mouth Is- Part 3.

4th street

Part One

Part Two

And then ,as I sat one day on the balcony trying to enjoy a summer morning, the vehicles were once again using the lot as their personal cut through, construction vehicles parked, dump truck full of debris, the noise and even more vehicles finding a place to park, peace shattered. I realized I did not want to spend my last remaining days looking at this situation? Since the city has very little accountability for those that do what ever they want – we had decided we at least needed some control over what was happening to “Highway 1125” . We started the paperwork……….

I could just imagine our life with vehicles and construction equipment parked under my windows – the continued “cut through” from the alley to 4th with other visitors too lazy to go to the alley entrance way. The situation would be untenable . The decision was made to try to purchase the lot next door as another vehicle used the lot as a cut through to 4th from the alley.
The City of Lorain can’t enforce any damned one of their ordinances IF the people cited just continue to break them. I don’t know why we bother with anything but new build inspections!!!!!!

The Broadway Building a case in point. 11 years of inspections on a building that sits and rots covered in tacky netting , a community angered by the deteriorating state of the place and the fine just $2,172 in 11 years just over 50 cents a day by my math. Not enough revenue to buy an inspector a cup of morning coffee!!!!!

According to Lorain Municipal Court records, Spitzer Great Lakes Ltd. has since paid the housing court fines totaling $2,172 for its building violations.

The lawn mowers on Jaeger still there and can be seen from space . Fines paid and the process starts all over again!!!!!!!

as seen from space

as seen from space

The tax payers KNOW piddly little ordinances such as vehicles on lawns, eyesores galore, a derelict house that takes 40 years before it is finally demolished are ignored through lack of accountability!

Lorain and her enforcement is a joke and the people laughing are the ones that pay the fines as a cost of doing business. It is the law- abiding that follow the rules or try to at least.

cityhall castle
“when all is said and done , there is always more SAID THAN DONE!!!”

It was obvious if we didn’t want to put up with the nuisance factor on 1125 we were going to have to have control over what would happen with that land.

The first item to start the process was the application :

On July 13th 2015 the City of Lorain land reutilization policy parcels of city-owned land offered vacant lots for sale .In the program, potential purchasers would apply to the city’s Department of Building, Housing Planning indicating which lots they want to buy and how they would redevelop the property.

The city will not sell land to anyone delinquent in real estate taxes or city income taxes, or anyone violating city zoning, building, health or property maintenance codes of Lorain. Buyers also may not be delinquent in on city utility bills and must not be in arrears on any payments owed to the city.

The Application PDF found here vacant_parcel_purchase_application_and_instructions

There were of course time lines and rules to follow- applications starting October 1st 2015 and then through the 1st to the 15 of the month. Applications were time stamped , fees to be met.
dye a tribed
And here is where thanks to the “Inspection of our property” by the Dye Tribe. Our donspout disconnect
and having to paint my garage by a certain date didn’t have the outcome Dye Inspections were looking for. The red door on the garage chosen to match the ever-present dump truck – a design by Lorain ….

Dye and her family did us a HUGE service. You see because of her “timely ” complaints this family had a lovely official abatement of letter from the Chief Building Inspector Klinar to add to our application package showing we were in fact in compliance with the codes . Thanks Mrs. Dye😉

That letter we included with our application along photos of nuisances associated with the property, the history of the lot from 1834 and the plan for bringing back 1125 fitting to the historic ambiance of this oldest neighborhood.

As soon as the 5th floor opened on that October 1st 2015 – our application containing all relevant paperwork was submitted and time stamped. There were only two other people in the waiting area and they were there for different parcels.

After a few weeks we were sent the letter our application had been accepted and so began the revitalization of “Highway 1125” to be continued …..

October 17, 2016 at 12:36 pm Leave a comment

2006 – Lorain was dreaming lights on Broadway then and now



There has been much toing and froing ( even on this blog ) with the Broadway Building and a successful downtown.

I sat at Lorain City Council chambers last evening for the latest discussions as to what was going to happen at 642 Broadway ( United Way)
and the Broadway Building-

I have aged since Spitzer mothballed the Broadway Building 11 years ago BUT sitting there last night I lost 10 years because I was back in 2006. So here is a reprise of a post I wrote back then on the old WoM Blog when I said then Show me the Money….
Apologies the newspaper links from 2006 have disappeared from the web but at the time they were available – not written in stone apparently but they were there when the article was originally written

WoM Logo  by  Scott Baklar

WoM Logo by Scott Baklar

Back in 2006……..
Loraine Ritchey: Vision to do = needs dosh
or Show Me the Money!

(** note concept drawings courtesy of City of Lorain)
Noun: dosh dósh [Brit] Informal term for money – boodle, bread, cabbage [US], clams [US], dinero [N. Amer], dough, gelt, kale [US], lettuce [US], lolly [Brit], lucre, loot, moolah [N. Amer], pelf, scratch, shekels, simoleons [US], sugar, wampum [N. Amer], moola [N. Amer]
We all have visions of what we would like to see happen in this city by the shore. We have a lakefront begging to be cherished by people with vision, expertise and cash to make it happen. The recent announcement of the Maritime Museum moving to the old Pellet site was a welcome vision.
but like everything in life the concept needs the cash needs to make it a reality.


BACK TO 2006
The Baseball stadium and field of dreams is also a vision of some of the community

It has taken by the last count $240,000 to reach the stage where CSU baseball will come and play for a couple or three seasons, once the field is prepared to certain specification, which of course will take more “dosh”. It is hoped by the proponents of the stadium/ field that the ripple effect of having a college team play in Lorain will eventually lead to bigger things – possibly a stadium – professional baseball. Dreams, assumptions , wonderful visions – we have had them all throughout the years.

NOTE 2016 from Ballpark Reviews
One has to wonder in 2016 how much this costs us to support in the last 10 years

pipeyardres The photos in the screen shot from Ball Park reviews were taken in 2007

Streets and Sidewalks Committee Meeting October 23rd,2006

GIVEN: We have not even advertised yet. We are hoping and basing our future on wishes assuming that will take place. We have had fifty years of assumptions that have not paid off in this town. We need to be very cautious otherwise we are mortgaging the residents’ future on a dream. It is one thing to look at things and make educated guesses but it is another to dream…

Then we also have the Heritage Trolley planned to loop around our downtown district

photo Heritage

“In order to implement the restoration of the streetcar system in Lorain, OH a Community Improvement Corporation (501-c3) has been formed. This Lorain Street Railway Inc. will be made up of members from the Lorain Port Authority, City of Lorain, Mainstreet Lorain, Chamber of Commerce, Lorain County Metroparks, Developers, Civic Leaders and other persons knowledgeable in the field. The wide range of membership is an indication of the community support behind this project.”

2016 – call it a Street car in Desire only – never happened …….

The Lorain Palace, the grand old lady of Lorain holds a special place in this community – saved from destruction by the vision of the “ladies who lunched”. The latest plans to annex her to the Eagles building with all the performance areas, classrooms for the arts, entertaining in conjunction with the Palace that could entail is definitely a vision close to my heart. The vision is there but very little money.

2016 We are still talking happy talk……


Friday October 13th 2006 (the timing of that announcement didn’t bode well for those of us who are superstitious) found us reading the article “Lorain looks for bright future on the lakefront” Kate Giammarise (Morning Journal)

“Altogether, it’s about two to two and a half miles of waterfront property, amounting to about 100 acres, said Don Romancak, a planner in the city’s Community Development Department. The city and Port Authority say they are partnering to have more land to offer developers”

The Pellet site was home of the “ore piles” and the coal docks – someone else’s “vision” of waterfront development.

”It’s wide open,” Foltin said, adding the development could include condominiums or other housing, retail, recreation, hotels, a conference center, a baseball stadium — or even casino gaming. ”(Having casinos in Lorain) still is near and dear to my heart,” Foltin said. ”Don’t think that door is closed”

2016 NOTE: I should have taken that bet ! because that door hit us in the wallet on his way out of town

The City of Lorain is proposing marketing and requesting RFP’s ( Requests for Proposals) from developers, some locally already have the information (see Agenda packet October 16th – Lorain City Council). Other options such as advertising our acreage nationwide and beyond are on going.
For some the coming together of a vibrant, bustling community can’t come soon enough Chronicle Telegram, October 25th-2006 by Joe Medici

LORAIN — With a Woolworth’s, a J.C. Penney’s, restaurants, movie theaters and dozens of small shops lining Broadway, Lorain’s downtown was once the jewel of the city.

Today, business owners on the city’s main corridor are just looking for ways to keep their doors open
2016 Well at least that still holds true
The people of Lorain may not agree on whose vision is the correct one but there isn’t a single solitary soul in this community that doesn’t want to see “Lorain Alive and Well” with people, housing, entertainment, jobs. That is the “vision” upon which we all agree.
Now we just have to get someone with the creativity, expertise and the financial backing to take our visions, show what is ”do-able with the dosh available” and make them reality. “Oh Say can you SEE??????”

2016 and there we sit 10 years later still polishing our rose coloured glasses and dreamin’ ………..

retownres Source

October 11, 2016 at 4:37 pm 1 comment

A Maritime History – Lorain was not all steel-The Captains

I am a transplant from a sea faring nation. I always wondered why Lorain did not hold her “inland seas” connection dearer to their historical hearts.

Today’s Morning Journal http://www. morning covered the talk given by one of Charleston Village Society’s Co Chairs- Renee Dore

wilford collage

“One of the captains Dore shared information about was Capt. Thomas Wilford. She referred to him as the “steamboat master” and explained how he saved his family from a ship wreck on Lake Superior.
Dore said she learned about Wilford 10 years ago, and is in part how she became interested in the history of the Black River and those who helped establish Lorain, formerly known as Charleston Village.

As I read Rene’s remarks I remembered the night she introduced us to Captain Wilford
and his connection, how this led to a continuing journey through the seas of Lorain’s maritime history and her lights along the shore …

Words: Henry Burton, 1877.

lights-upon-the-shoreI have reprised the article from February 2008

in the pink
that woman by Loraine Ritchey
He has become “my” captain,from the moment Renee Dore came through my front door with his story, this man of the inland sea captivated my imagination and part of my heart.

It all started in frustration and anger -this romance. Charleston Village Executive Board were holding a meeting in my home- we were under threat of blight and had been told that the little park that had been a public green space for two centuries was to make way for “condos”. We were meeting to plan a course of action . What could we do , this small band of neighbors, to show the worthiness of Lorain’s history and this oldest neighborhood, from which Lorain eventually grew, to those that only saw limited revenue for the short term?
the park

As we sat there, Renee mentioned that she had received some papers from a contact at Bowling Green University. Renee, who loves this old neighborhood, played as a child on her streets, and has given back to her three fold, including building a “new” home – Renee's home

hoping to restart a community, had gone in search of a man- a ship’s captain. Her captain may have lived in the house where she lived as a “wee bairn” and in her search through the archives of the Black River Historical Society and the Lorain Public Library, in order to document the stories and the worth of Portside – before it went to the wrecking ball-
Portside sketch click to enlarge
had come across a story of a ship’s captain who had saved his wife, children and crew from a shipwreck.

I remember Renee coming in that evening, full of excitement, even though the meeting was going to be “dour”, as we started reading the old news paper accounts; I came to the overwhelming realization ,that inspite of what we were facing ,I had to chronicle this man’s tale. It is a tale of love, bravery, adventure and humanity, one that my grandfather would’ve described as a “cracking good yarn” .

I persuaded Renee to leave me the documents and started to piece the tale together, my theatrical background switched into overdrive, in my mind I saw the play , the movie that could be made from this…. my creative instincts saw so many possibilities.Charle's Aunt
I kept studying the old black and white photo copy of the man in question, Captain Wilford
I was experiencing deja vu – I know this face, his eyes -why? I am not even from here originally; he was originally from England , but nowhere near where I had lived. Why was this face amongst the old newsprint so familiar? I asked my mother who came over the next day as I was typing “Her Book

“Mum look at this picture what do you think?”

He certainly reminds me of someone but who? – well lets get on with “my memories” mumsince you have nagged me to do this for decades”

and the Captain stayed on the desk.
The days went by and the Captain’s face haunted me, as I typed my mum’s memories of her childhood and young life. I would take a break and look at the photo on top of the printer

“you know me- you know – you know me “

it seemed to accuse but I just couldn’t make the connection.
I eventually got lost in the problems facing Lorain, the root cause
when a phone call took me back to The Captain. It was my very good friend, fellow actor Dave Cotton. Dave and I have gone through the good times and the bad, we laugh and moan together. It was one of those dreary days –

“tell me something good”

he said
Dave, I have just been putting together a story about a sea captain , it would make a great play even a better movie- the visual , the romance , the tragedy, the bravery I just can’t get this guy out of my mind.
Dave hadn’t heard of such a significantly adventurous tale from Lorain’s past and he and his family had lived in the area for generations.
I then went rabbitting on about this Captain Wilford,

That’s funny

said Dave

my great grandmother’s name was Wilford

THE FACE – of course that face -it was David- the moustache , the hair was a little different but the eyes – it WAS DAVID!!!!!

Dave IT IS YOU!!!

David who has known my penchant for the dramatic, laughed and said

” I have never heard of this guy in our family stories or documents” Dave.this is just too coincidental ! You have to look and see

after a couple of days research it was confirmed the heretofore unknown Captain Thomas Wilford was Dave’s great,great uncle.
Dave had passed his home on his way to meetings at the Black River Historical Society , never knowing that he had a connection. Wilford Bartenfeld home
From there the tale continued to grow, in order to raise funds for the Charleston Village Cemetery, Dave, his theatrical talent blessing us, started telling the tale of the shipwreck, and in order to make sure his facts were correct embarked on a journey of his own discovery .
Dave as Captain Wilford

Not only was a remarkable piece of Lorain’s history found, more was uncovered , his wife-Fanny who had had his arms protectvely wrapped around her as the large Canadian ship came out of the fog to slice into their schooner) her own connection to the Civil War
Fanny  Gilmore
, her family and Lakeview Park , General  Gilmorethe worth of a rental, Wilford house
the people who laid this towns foundations, once again living and breathing as we celebrated the two hundred years .
The fact that the State of Michigan deems the story of the shipwreck and the preservation of the wreck as important to the history of the Inland Seas and the archiver of the Titanic- Ken Marschall has also archived the Osborne but Lorain knew not the worth of her people to the maritime history………
Note to access the photos of the Osborne as she rests at the bottom of Lake Superior – near White Fish Point click here and scroll down
to be continued……….proposed maritime museum

September 29, 2016 at 2:21 pm 2 comments

Proving Innocence – Not Guilty or Neighborly

When someone living with Dementia Believes something to be true it is true in Alzheimer's World

Every time I read of accusations on facebook , social media etc I do so with a wariness. I wouldn’t have had a few years ago. In my last post
I mentioned our 11 months of hell caused by an elderly neighbor who truly believed her accusations. Before her dementia she had been a good neighbor, wanting to help with the community and did so , her talent as an artist used more than once with neighborhood events .

The family made no effort to help and so this neighbor literally took down her favorite tree, glass blocked her windows and put up fences . She was scared , frightened and alone in the fact she did not get the help she needed and that fact rippled through our lives. Due to her actions, we could not help – our attorney forbade any contact- so we had to leave her to her own terrifying nights until at last, after being found by another neighbor wandering the street in her night attire, something was finally done. The damage to our family was already done-

I wrote about that time on another blog The WoM Blog 10 years ago – I would like you to read this tale of accusation – 11 months of proving innocence- this could happen to you –and the years between have not erased the helplessness and yes anger at the family we felt.

WoM Logo  by  Scott Baklar

WoM Logo by Scott Baklar

J’Accuse- The Cost of Innocence
It is 6:00 am. in Lorain – Do you know where your attorney is?

John Paul Sartre got it right when he stated in his play – No Exit
The accuser and the accusations:
A neighbor, elderly and alone (who fully believed in her accusations) and since she wasn’t a known trouble maker or on anyone’s radar was totally believable- so the complaints made to the various authorities seemed reasonable.

1. a male neighbor throwing things at her house
2. male footprints in the freshly fallen snow leading to her front door from the neighbors
3. weapons being hidden between the houses
4. a male neighbor exposing himself through the fence
5. a neighbor opening the fire hydrants on the street
6. a male neighbor pointing a gun at her through the back door
7. a male neighbor hiding in the shrubs
8. intruders in her basement
9. intruders inside her house
10. up on her roof at night
11. neighbors cutting her phone lines

So I would ask you – you are the Lorain Police Department – you are getting these calls from an elderly woman, all alone- starting in June and carrying through to May of the next year. You send patrol cars -you check – you wake people from a sound sleep at all times of the night to make sure they are home and not harassing an elderly woman.

You respond when a citizen complains, it is documented. The elderly woman tells the rest of the neighborhood what it happening to her, enlisting their aid. The “family” of the accuser calls the accused family “perverts”-among other insulting remarks.

The REST of the story :

1. the things being thrown -tennis balls- coming across and into her yard as the kids in a neighboring home are playing ball.

2. footprints in the snow- the mail carrier coming from one house delivering to another

3. weapons ( supposedly being hidden to hit the neighbors on the head) – fallen tree limbs from her own tree

4. THE DE -FENCE NO. 4 -in the Accusations list

Oh! and the “exposing of a male part of the anatomy through the fence (from two properties away I might add)

X marks the spot where the “protruding penis” was supposed to have happened

It was the first accusation – I remember it so well another neighbor phoned,
NB. where is your husband?

ME: He is at the store –

NB: Oh good Sally phoned to say he was putting his penis through (another neighbors fence) ( two doors away)

ME: WHAT???? Is this some sort of a joke??

NB: No she is claiming your husband is sticking his penis through a knot hole in the fence….


The elderly lady was fixated with the knothole and the penis and called out the police on another fine summer day. I asked the officer who was a little sharp with me at first to please come and look at the fence. He reluctantly did so – I showed him the knot hole and its position in the fence and then I said

“officer if you can put your penis through that hole I will personally put the handcuffs on my husband “


A little grin did flicker across his face as he remarked ”

” No thank you ma’am I am more endowed than to fit that opening.

I then took him to the other side of the fence where we have a pond. and where in order to expose oneself you would have to lay on your side half in the water.
fence 3res
The officer wrote up a report which was pretty laughable- the Chronicle Telegram and their reporter saw the police report, thankfully we were spared our names in the article – Shawn Foucher wrote the article : If The Fence Don’t Fit You Have To Acquit!

5. Opening Fire Hydrants – The fire dept. was called by the accuser, and the LFD were very irate, it was in fact the Lorain Water Dept. as they had a water line burst on Oberlin Avenue. So when the Fire Dept then turned off the gushing fire hydrant the water dept. guys from the Utilities Dept came running down the street waving their arms as they were now having to deal with gushing water .

6. The gun , after three such calls and reports it turns out, when questioned further, that the “gun” was actually a “RAY GUN” and this wonderful invention (invented apparently by the accused) could make her steel back door disappear for 8 seconds at a time and she had to blink to get it back!

7. The shrub – was an over 70 foot maple tree, which not only did the accused manage to climb, in the dark – but did so in a DRESS. (ouch!)

8. The intruders (now there were two) the accused and his wife- apparently getting in through the vent in the glass block window

9. Picture this if you will. The police are called the “intruders” (we now have two again) are in the house, armed . One officer arrives, he has called for back up however there is a serious problem elsewhere other officers are tied up on another call. With caution the officer calls to the intruders to come out of the closet. Nothing, silence- weapon at the ready he throws open the door to a closet???? no one
Ma’am are you sure they went in here?

The Accuser:
What is the matter with you ? Can’t you see them- they are hiding under that lampshade!
Call for back up was cancelled!
10. Up on the roof (raccoons and squirrels using her roof as a route from one tree to another )

11. The phone lines were cut as a truck making deliveries to More for Less caught the overhead lines and ripped them down.

NOTE – pretty funny isn’t it??? but these plausible complaints were harrowing to us at the time and terrifying to her – AND WE HAD TO PROVE EVERYDAY – EVERY COMPLAINT THAT WE WERE INNOCENT!!!!

The EFFECT😦 Due to these accusations):

1. Hundreds of dollars were spent by the accused on lawyers letters, dealing with the accusations, building higher fences . Family members of the accuser making insulting and damning remarks (rather than seeing the problem- again lawyers letters)

2. Months of harassment, being woken from a sound sleep at all hours of the night with the police at the door responding to the accusations. Not being comfortable and able to relax in your OWN home.

3. Documenting your every move for over a year. Because when someone makes an accusation that you were doing something at a certain time you better have proof that you were elsewhere and have a reliable witness.

So you keep a daily/hourly diary, where you were, who was with you, if you go to the store alone -you keep the time stamped receipt. You cannot even go into your back yard without a witness or companion. Your reputation is shot! Your life becomes about PROVING YOUR INNOCENCE every day, just because “J’Accuse”.

4. The embarrassment is bad enough but the stress takes its toll, infact this living on the accusatory knife-edge ( and people will say – hmmmm where there is smoke…..) effects you emotionally and physically you become ill. You can’t sleep, you are on the defensive, your life is turned upside down and the lives of your family, you are angry, bewildered and hurt .


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

It is only when you look into the “rest of the story” that you realize that as ridiculous as these accusations really were the suffering, expense and the toll on a family -wasn’t funny.
AND NOW – the hedges are grown deliberately- so the daughter and husband who had their say as I was screamed at by the “construction king ” and ironically wanting MY HELP in their “estate court case” can no longer peer into my garden- let them inspect the alley

You see the grandfather also had issues before he passed only at that time it was another neighbor who bore the brunt of his “visions” – those ” good ” neighbors eventually moved…… So before accusations are made – and believed remember sometimes all is not so cut and dried…………………………THIS PROVING OF INNOCENCE CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE ……….

August 15, 2016 at 5:08 pm 2 comments

Municipal Manipulation Lorain (e) – Again!!!!

There have been times that this home and family have borne the brunt of people using city offices and law enforcement as weapons of choice by people who object to me, my writings, this blog.

In one very serious instance it was NOT because of what I wrote and the target was not initially me. An elderly woman – a neighbor- was suffering from mental issues- and left to it by her family- her weapon of choice was the Lorain Police Dept . Eleven months of hell for us and her. I wrote about that time on the old WoM Blog. I will reprise that post.

WoM Logo  by  Scott Baklar

WoM Logo by Scott Baklar

A few days ago, once again, I was accused and accosted by a foul mouthed and obscene rant- threatening behavior – a male face , puffed up and shouting in rage, whilst his wife and his mother looked on.

Also, looking on and having their say – their neighborhood “friends”. As I listened to what was being shouted at me by a young man, whose command of the English language was grounded in obscenity and filth, I looked into the face of the woman , the daughter of that elderly mother. The mother, who had been trapped in her own mind and whose peculiar visions had caused so many months of concern to this family and the neighbors. We had the added expense of lawyers letters, out- reach to the family members by LPD etc. had failed to get the elderly lady help.

When someone living with Dementia Believes something to be true it is true in Alzheimer's World

In the end the lady was found wandering the streets in her night clothes and the LPD and Social Services stepped in. The family members had done very little to help the mother or the neighbors. ( I have all the documentation, from that time, the diaries we had to keep- it went on and on for 11 months.)

I found it ironic, since they( the daughter and her husband) moved into the mother’s house they had wanted MY help. The daughter had their attorney contact me a few months ago wanting ME to testify on their behalf as to the conduct of the sister with regard to the mother .

Maybe they had their nose out of joint ( she and her husband) because I told their attorney that our own attorney had told us not to have anything to do with any of that family ever and that the family, in my opinion, left their mother in a pitiable state scared of the visions she thought were real.

I would not have been a sympathetic witness to their “estate” dispute. Could that be the reason she joined in the attack with cryptic comments?
City  of Lorain

In the last year the weapon of choice by “irate accusers” has been the Lorain Building Dept. The Lorain Building Dept. who have been written about as well, critically, for many years, on this blog –

“Administrations, councils come and go but the Building Dept is a common thread and the glut of decrepit housing/buildings in this city lays firmly at the door of lack of enforcement for many years”

Do they too have an axe to grind – one has to wonder? The Building Dept. under Richard Klinar claim they will not get into neighborhood disputes, have been manipulated to do so ,in my opinion, at least TWICE in a year!!!! I am apparently “RE- inspected” for issues that were non- violations in the first two inspections! This complaint driven dept. should, imho, switch to zone inspections and not just drive by outrageous violations because no one complained??? to get to the petty ones.( Oh! and in Lorain a rolled roof on a pitched roof is legal- how about that slum lords- no longer will you have to put up a real roof!!! You can exchange the old blue for the new black)


rolled roof
And it has continued, not only effecting my property but others, as the rushing to file petty retribution complaints in the “alley” has recently happened .

Let me state here for the record I have never filed a “formal complaint” with Building, Planning and Housing- I have written on my blog about issues faced but I haven’t filed any formal complaints.

I have been accused of so doing. Do these holier than thou self righteous – do no wrong think I would be the only one objecting to their placement of construction/ commercial vehicles and travel trailers.

No sorry ! there are others who do not wish to live in a construction parking lot and look at rv’s on the grass. But apparently according to “he of the foul mouth rant” –

“Nobody fu#king cares this is a fu#king hood. YOU are the only one that fu#king cares….. you fu#king bitch”…. this is fu#king Lorain

yelled at the top of his voice . This wasn’t the first time, he yelled obscenities from his parent’s front porch three weeks earlier for the whole street to hear- and hear it they did!

Well at the risk of more concrete through the window , or worse, I will not be silenced. The act of spewing obscene venom at me for at least 10 minutes, aggression and veiled threats apart from the label of

“fu#king c$nt” … I am going to blog about you … you shamed me on your fu#king blog”.. I am gonna park my fu#king vehicles in front of your fu#king house

( such a mature way to deal with his anger – makes a mother proud apparently) )…

and you fu#king bitch put your husband in hospital”

as I walked away . His parting shot was he was going to run for city council- seems I am the catalyst to get people involved in local government 😉

I will continue writing. I will not be cowered by the lack of intelligent and civilized behavior. Little did they know as the tirade continued it was being witnessed by a neutral individual; of course there are now cameras as well .

My latest visit from the Lorain Building Dept. was once again about my husband’s boat –

Of course, I wished he had gotten rid of it years ago- but it has now become like the downspout named “Don” a matter of principle.

Three times we have been inspected in two years – 2014 on a zone inspection ( which we passed)- then the “Dye’ diatribe and the insistence we were inspected (2015) ( using her position on the Design Review Board) and even she was insulting about the boat – and the Lorain Building Dept. responded very quickly – no less than 4 working days- to find the boat in compliance then – the weeds at that time belonged to the City of Lorain😉 and the next door lot

…..are you hiding your junk boat?… My roots go back further in this town more than you riding the boat over to ellis island. is that the boat in your back yard…..

and included in a filthy email sent by another of the “posse of putrid language”

“your back yard have and old fu#king boat” who he did suggest further in his tirade “what you need is I real man to fu#k your fat ass pleople of lorain when you get a clomplain from the city is this woman going around sucking the city’s departments di#k”

NOTE: do you see a language pattern here – such brilliance and command of debating skills🙂

and the latest complaint by the construction fu#k – king of the neighborhood! who admitted making the complaint in the heat of his argument .

We have been in compliance with the “boat” for years……

boat and roseses
Underneath the tarp is a Chrysler Sport Satellite 15′ and original 70 hp motor
photo source

Chrysler boats were far ahead of their time. The full foam flotation that was standard on all Chrysler boats, later became federally mandatory on all

You can read about the Chrysler Marine Division here
A quick internet search to see if this boat was crap or a classic ( as my husband swears it is) turned up prices that were in at least one case more than we paid for it and the average price was about $400 less than we paid for it all those years ago.

It is now deemed a “classic”

So the boat and me are staying put for now – but just incase anyone else decides to use the Lorain Building Inspectors as their weapon of choice here is the evidence of compliance

NOTE: Dear Inspectors you need to brush up on botany – Mint, Swiss Chard , Horseradish and Morning Glories are not WEEDS!!!!!
violation not

But the weeds referred to ( all duly planted by said husband for my mother’s recipes) and those morning glories to cover the chain link fence (which I hate) – allows viewing by those who wish to find fault!!!! – and that is going to change, if I have my way………. But maybe I should save the city time and money and have my property inspected by them once a year to make sure we are in compliance- save them the paperwork and time !

to be continued……. J’ Accuse –

August 9, 2016 at 10:42 am 14 comments

History Regurgitated- Ohio Preservation Meeting

The 501C3 of which I am Co – Chair ( Charleston Village Society Inc) ( if you have been reading this blog has been around since the late 1980’s and a 501C3 since 1993) was invited to meeting on grant applications etc. for historic preservation fundingGayle Manningres
CVSI is completely reliant upon donations, cash and in kind. We are an ALL volunteer organization.

Introductions were made in that crowded room ( they weren’t expecting such a large turnout)- boding well for historic preservation one would think. The list of communities with “Historic Preservation Districts” included Lorain- I don’t believe 90 percent of those attending “knew” where those are – BUT I can tell you where at least one district is found. The state designation encompasses the area of Lorain’s oldest neighborhood and the area Charleston Village Society oversees ( AN ALL VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION) IN PLACE BEFORE THE STATE DESIGNATION.

My optimism changed quickly to DEJAVU – as the power point presentation got started. Wait a minute! I have seen the same sort photos, different years and different locations , the same power point presentation , even the same jokes when people filled Lorain City Council Chambers in 1993.


The historical rhetoric continued -how to apply – what you need to do, what the benefits are etc. Yes, same spiel I heard nearly a quarter of a century ago. We were excited then, the state was excited there was already a “community based preservation group”( Charleston Village Society Inc) – fully involved with city leaders and the county . The speech I heard today by JEFF SIEGLER


Jeff attended Ohio Wesleyan University where he received his bachelors degree in economics management. While working for a historic tax credit developer In Richmond, Virginia Jeff completed his Masters of Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Commonwealth University with a concentration in urban revitalization. Prior to becoming the Director of Revitalization at Heritage Ohio, Jeff worked as the Director of the Lancaster Special Improvement District and Main Street Lancaster.

I had heard in essence heard before – you see we had his predecessor of long ago Kevin Kuchenbecker “talked” us- the BOD of mainstreetlorain”- into joining a Main Street program that was unwieldy , in 1999/ 2000 and was not designed for the area , Lorain is an entitlement city- which means we can’t get the same benefits non entitlement cities can access ( Funny that was never brought up when we were being “courted”)- “mainstreetlorain” organization 1996 had already encompassed an area far bigger than what a Main Street usually covers and I and my Co – Chair Rich Robbin did bring that up and told

not to worry it would be handled!

. Oh the problems were surmountable we were informed ( only they weren’t)

artwork Chris Ritchey

artwork Chris Ritchey

Maybe a time to revisit that piece of history as Charleston Village Society Inc was a founding member of mainstreetlorain and on the board of the Main Street program in Lorain and at one time I was a volunteer director for 7 months so the organization didn’t go belly up. Main Street ( Lorain) eventually became Lorain Growth Corporation .

I have been involved up to my eyes in Lorain
but it was almost insulting to see that nearly a quarter of a century on these “historical preservation ” way forwards are stuck back in the last century and can only regurgitate the rhetoric

a healthy down -town has to have a healthy neighborhood and vice versa-

now what decade in the past was that ever mentioned??? ( sarcasm ) ,

you have to work together with local officials


To people who have, over the decades , been there done that, worked with 8 administrations, countless number of council people , not to mention police chiefs, fire chiefs civic organizations, educational institutions, we are not any farther ahead than when we met in the meeting room of the Broadway Building with Heritage Ohio in 1999/2000 and in 1993 when we went under the architectural review. In fact, we have lost a lot of significant homes and buildings and our downtown- well what can I say Channel Five said it all

So let us see what benefits we, as a neighborhood ,have derived from being in a state recognized district for these many years.

Lorain has a number buildings on the National Historic Register


Oh and yes one with a hairnet controversy -Broadway Building, another with promises not fulfilled as the rain comes down – Eagles Building – look at them now (with fresh eyes).

How can that be? What doesn’t seem to be told or at least made very clear is that IF PRIVATE MONEY IS USED to rehab , tear down, paint a building pink there is nothing “Historical Preservation” can do!!!

The only time they have teeth is when “public monies” are used at any level. Have ANY of the historically significant homes in this neighborhood been cherished by the “Historians from Ohio”? We can’t even find funding to preserve the headstones of Lorain’s founding families in the little cemetery on 6th.

Cemetery  county  collage

I don’t think they even know the history of this- Lorain’s oldest neighborhood. Within walking distance of my old house

( not historically significant except for maybe the window connection and the artisan who came to Lorain )

Captain Wilford’s Home

fanny gilmore  wilfordthomas wilfordThere is the Captain Wilford House, which housed the Captain his wife Fanny Gillmore of the Gillmore Civil War letters
housecarwilford and we haven’t even touched on the rest of the Gillmore family although you can find the series here .

Just take a walk and look at that house now.

Admiral Kings’ birth place – you may remember Admiral King
admiral king visit

( Gov. Kasich sent a lovely proclamation when we designated the “tribute site across from his birthplace Gov Kasich wished him well in his retirement – hmmmmm not sure his office staff knew the history of the Commander of the US Fleet (WW2) as he had been dead 50 years – can you retire from death??? We informed them of their error and we received another proclamation but without the fancy gold seal😉

Photo Lisa Miller

Photo Lisa Miller

The little historic park- the earliest surviving green space in the county 1807 saved from condos ( you know the importance of a public square statement) not by Ohio but by a bunch of “history boneheads of Charleston Village Society” – history boneheads – designated by Editor John Cole (Morning Journal)

The only thing I can see we benefit from in being a state preservation district is the fact if public monies are used in our neighborhood to rehab then there are standards to be met eg. windows unless the house is historically insignificant and when the city or country needs to demo a property we ( CVSI) are usually asked to provide a letter stating why we as an organization ,whose mission statement includes preservation of the neighborhood, don’t object – see an example file here

CVSI Gow House
Then to be told by the speakers, Oh it is a local issue, get ordinances passed, accountability is local and you need to take before and after pictures etc. etc. well that was it- accountability HA!

I had to leave before I regurgitated…… I have 25 years for publicizing before and after and before and it has become “history’!

The Charleston Village Society Float in the international parade and the big blue box from 1992


Ah and 24 years later ……

Time to get off the soap box.

June 28, 2016 at 9:11 pm 3 comments

Money Where your Mouth Is- The Process- Part two

Part One

freedom of speech by  Chris Ritchey

freedom of speech by Chris Ritchey

As I have pondered the terrible events happening since I wrote part one- I have decided to stick by my opinions, not to be silenced by a barrage of obscenity and intimidation because of the lack of respect for others and laws of the city – even if it is on the block where I live. Documentation and catalogue of happenings have been sent to various entities so if I pop my clogs they will know where to start the investigation😉

houseres We raised our children and have grown old in this old house. Our world was rocked when our son died from Cancer. During the months that followed, I could have cared less what was happening in the outside world , the advocate for history and this neighborhood lay buried beneath the cruelty of disease and the cruel aftermath perpetuated upon this family by his “bride” and her family-

To be honest, the world could have come to an end outside these windows and I wouldn’t have cared. Months and now years have come and gone, the pain still is as strong- you just get better at holding it back in public- well for the most part.

The property at 1125 had become an issue, truth be told, it was really an issue for the 40 years we have lived here along with the big blue box. As stated in part one, the hedges, shrubs and the huge maple shielded me- for the most part- from at least the visual happenings.
We had made enquiries to the City of Lorain, once the house was demolished, as to purchasing the property. Three years went by and then the announcement property owners adjacent to these vacant lots could apply for purchase. We actually thought long and hard about this as we are ourselves fast approaching our “sell by date”. We knew this was not going to be an easy or cheap project to take on, with all its other problems, there was one “underlying ” challenge.

This old house sits above the lot next door by a few feet – just how high above wasn’t noticeable until the shrubs and trees were removed. The surprise -was a good 5-6 feet above the lot next door.We are literally on the bank of the ravine .

There is an underground rivulet/stream at the bottom of a ravine which actually used to come out of the ground by my garage and headed north east toward the lake.
“The Charleston River” ( my name for it) and its ” topography” – trench were noted on the 1837 Map ( Ohio Historical report)


The old river bed shows in the middle 1800’s hand drawn pencil map from Peggy Gillmore’s estate ( now on display at Lorain City Hall)

sc old river bedres

and on the 1880’s map
map (2)

We knew that after the Tornado the street scape changed. According to Peggy Gillmore, the last of the founding family of Gillmores in this city ,
she told me on the south corner of 4th and Hamilton ( home was destroyed in that tornado ) a friend’s grandmother would put out the milk cans in the stream to keep cool in the summer. Peggy said there was a small bridge where the old Irving School play ground now sits in order to cross but that was filled in before the tornado. The house on the opposite corner ( also demolished sat on the opposite bank of the ravine – and was known as The Bluffs.
This old house and the property next door to the west were built in the rebuilding time – after the tornado. The home that sat on the lot which was then 66 ft. was lost in the tornado.
There was a lot of “lot cut ups” after the tornado – probably to entice people to purchase and rebuild . You can see the before

before tornadores and the old tax map showing 1912 showing the who and then the split lots from 66 feet to 33 after the tornado and that continued…..
4th street tax map now the lots are not uniform and over the years footage has changed hands

34.50 4th Streetres Some people, for whatever reason, purchased three feet and some 6 feet from their neighbor and one extended the back of their lot from the traditional 157 to 165 – maybe in lieu of giving up 9 feet from their 66 foot lot . I don ‘t know but what I did know was that we were going to have issues.

1. being the river still running underneath the lot (1125)

2. the fact the lot is over an old rubble landfill from the debris of the tornado

3. the expenses that would be incurred to make the lot attractive after years and years of neglect and abuse.

The added expense of taking down a huge 95 foot maple , sitting close to the house, you just knew that wasn’t going to be cheap.

Did we really want to take on a project this large and the proverbial pains in the rear this would entail at our age.

And then ,as I sat one day on the balcony trying to enjoy a summer morning, the vehicles were once again using the lot as their personal cut through, construction vehicles parked, dump truck full of debris, the noise and even more vehicles finding a place to park, peace shattered. I realized I did not want to spend my last remaining days looking at this situation? Since the city has very little accountability for those that do what ever they want – we had decided we at least needed some control over what was happening to “Highway 1125” . We started the paperwork……….

June 17, 2016 at 11:50 am 3 comments

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